City of San Antonio crews inspecting trees at Brackenridge Park ahead of Easter

Large tree branch fall injured 7 at zoo last week

SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio is inspecting trees in Brackenridge Park after a large tree branch fell on spring break crowds at the San Antonio Zoo last Wednesday.

The effort comes with more urgency after the tree collapse at the zoo injured seven people, one of which is a child hospitalized in fair condition as of Monday. The others were discharged previously.

Shade and green space make Brackenridge Park a popular place, especially for families celebrating Easter.

The city’s forester said they are not responsible for the zoo’s tree assessments or maintenance, but the city is taking steps to ensure the trees at Brackenridge Park are taken care of as a precaution.

“We currently are pruning trees up over here by the river. And we also are removing a few dead trees,” said Michael Holinsky, city forester. “...We’re looking somewhere in the ballpark of five or six trees that are completely dead and have been identified as a hazard.”

Holinsky said when looking for an unhealthy tree, indicators to note are discoloration in the canopy -- the highest part of the tree -- leaves falling at a time of year when they shouldn’t, and heaving in the roots.

He says the city has teams in the parks daily to ensure anything unsafe is reported and removed.

Additionally, Holinsky said trees are unpredictable, and he advises families to be aware of their surroundings when out in nature.

“It is very important to always remain vigilant. Whether you’re in a city park, at the zoo, or you’re out hiking in a backcountry trail, it’s always very important to make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Look up into the canopy, take a look at the roots, especially before you sit down and have a picnic under it, and just make sure that, you know, you and your family are as safe as they can possibly be.”


Child now in fair condition after tree fell on San Antonio Zoo visitors last week

About the Authors

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

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