AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas ice storm that spanned late January and early February caused much more damage in Austin than initially suspected. After a thorough storm survey, Texas A&M Forest Service estimates approximately 10.5 million trees were damaged in the city. 

Data from the agency’s Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis program and satellite imagery calculated that basically 31% of Austin’s tree population was impacted by the storm. According to Texas A&M, the species primarily affected were live oak, Ashe juniper, cedar elm and hackberry.

“Of the total, about 25% of the canopy had light damage or stress; 5% had moderate to heavy damage; and 1% had heavy damage,” wrote Texas A&M in a tweet. The trees that underwent light damage can likely heal on their own.

However, Texas A&M explains that cautious pruning should be used on mature trees with apparent branch and crown damage. When pruned, the agency suggests painting oak tree cuts or wounds to prevent oak wilt, and then recovery time should follow.