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Battered Oaks Ready for New Orleans Comeback

New Orleans' broad, shady live oak trees lend the city much charm. Many urban foresters had feared the flooded trees might die after spending weeks with roots submerged in a salty, polluted brew. Now the city has dried out and tree experts are going in to assess the damage.

Scientists such as Louisiana State University's Hallie Dozier are taking soil samples to check for toxins. They'll also watch for long-term effects from the shock of flooding.

For now, Dozier says the biggest danger comes from the frantic rebuilding of the city, as people work with bulldozers and chainsaws around these already weakened trees.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.