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Texas Drought Kills Up to 500 Million Trees December 23, 2011
North Texas dormant trees
Trees gone dormant in early December at a nature preserve outside Dallas., following a parched and scorching summer.
Initial estimates say that as many as a half-billion trees have died across Texas over the past year as a result of a persistent drought parching the state.

The Texas Forest Service says that number doesn’t even include the millions of trees that burned due to drought-induced firestorms, or those lost to heat and bone-dry conditions in urban areas.

Many trees in the Lone Star State have gone dormant to protect themselves from further stress brought on by the drought.

Officials won’t get a better idea of how many trees have actually perished until they start to sprout new growth in the spring and become more visible in satellite images.

Forestry officials estimate that Texas is typically home to nearly 5 billion trees.

Photo: Robert Nunnally - Flickr