Tree casualty projections across the eight-county Houston area run as high as 66 million by the nonprofit Trees for Houston. The city will be removing only those on city public land.
"Droughts are like a Category 3 hurricane that moves very, very, very slow," said Tom Combs, vice president of the Texas region for DRC Emergency Services, the Mobile, Ala.-based company that would get the work if the spending is approved Wednesday. DRC is the city's disaster debris contractor. Combs said he does not know how many trees the company removed in the wake of Ike, only that DRC carted away 5 million cubic yards of debris, some from public land, some from private.