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Conifers/Norway Spruce trees falling in high winds

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Hi,

There are 6 Norway Spruce trees that are in a row, parallel to a garage (about 5 feet away. The trees are about 55 years old. We live in Chicago, Il. Is there a concern that these healthy trees could fall and damage the garage in a high wind, so that they should be cut down? They appear to be  healthy and I can get this assured by an assessment from an arborist. They are so beautiful and deeply cherished by me, but should they be removed out of fear of the high winds that are felling mature trees such as Elms, increasingly, in our town? Someone has heard that they have shallow root systems,as a species, and could be a particular danger. Please let me know the facts in terms of if this is a concern for this species of this age and good health. ANy facts would be so appreciated so that a good judgement on cutting them down or not could be achieved. If they are not a danger, I would so love to keep them, but someone else is concerned, so I thought I would start with the facts of the species, here in the Midwest. Thanks so much.

Answer
I think since they have been there 55 years and are healthy I would not cut them. They have gone through winds during the 55 years and this has strengthen the root systems. OF course IF direct hit by a tornado comes these and any other tree would not take the win. But form what you have said I would think they will be there many, many more years. I would enjoy the shade and not cut them. This species will live a lot longer than 55 years. The Norway spruce has a life span of about 100 years depending on conditions. This is a relatively short life for a tree and may be due to its very fast growth rate. As a rule, evergreens are shorter lived than deciduous trees which grow more slowly. The tree is disease resistant and is often used in windbreaks since it can tolerate winds of up to 100 miles an hour without suffering serious damage.  Enjoy your trees.

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Jim Hyland

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Registered Forester in the Southern US with 30 years experiance in managing pines. Expert in pine forest health from management to control of pests to ID of species.

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