In ice-damaged towns, a difficult choice on trees


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Scientists are encouraging communities and homeowners who plant trees to choose varieties with a better chance of withstanding ice storms and other rough weather.

Ice storms do about $225 million in damage to trees every year. Broken limbs and trunks knock down power lines, leaving people in the dark and posing safety risks.

Hundreds of trees were casualties of a December ice storm at Michigan State University, where biologist Frank Telewski keeps a database of every tree on campus and is cataloguing the devastation.

Telewski is part of a multi-state team studying which trees bear up best under the strain of ice — and pruning methods that strengthen their limbs.

Trees provide many benefits, including lowering energy costs with their shade and absorbing pollutants.

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