COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas has started a more specific drought count to determine how many trees died from last year's devastating dry spell.
The Texas Forest Service on Monday announced forestry crews will spend the next two months on the ground surveying 700 plots of land. The areas were targeted by analysts who studied satellite images of tree covers.
Crews will count the number of dead trees in a 75-foot radius per plot. Experts will also seek information on insects and diseases that can endanger drought-stressed trees.
Coordinator Chris Brown says knowing the mortality rate of trees will help communities plan for reforestation.
The Texas Forest Service last December announced a preliminary estimate of up to 500 million trees killed by the drought. A longer-term study will also be done.