March is living up to its reputation of coming in like a lion.
The recent trio of storms in Westchester and Fairfield has left more debris in yards then homeowners know what to do with. Sure, lots of it is just picking up and removing branches – some bigger than others. But for the jobs that look like you may need more? Don’t just necessarily borrow your brother-in-law’s best friend’s chainsaw and ladder and go at it.
“Unless you are experienced in the use of such equipment and comfortable working off the ground, it would be best to have the work performed by a competent professional,” said Kate Flanagan of the West Harrison-based Emerald Tree and Shrub Care .
“This is where so many homeowners get into trouble. Run an Internet search for videos of ‘Tree Cutting Gone Wrong’ to see just what can happen.”
It’s not only the sawing you need to worry about.
Doug Williams, Local Manager and Arborist Representative of Bartlett Tree Experts , which has its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., urges homeowners to get any emergencies taken care of first, clean up and then evaluate trees for damage and any preventative measures – such as tree removal – you can take for next time.
“Only have a licensed arborist evaluate your trees,” said Williams. “In Connecticut, the only people that can legally give qualified advice on tree care are licensed and insured arborists.” [Ed. Note: New York state does not require certification.]
Emerald Tree Care’s Flanagan cautioned that when dealing with trees, you always have to be aware of any overheard or nearby wires that pose potential hazards and limit tree-cutting options. Torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them.
Williams, an Easton resident, has been with the 100-plus-year-old family-owned-and-operated Bartlett for 34 years and can’t really recall ever seeing nor’easter after nor’easter after nor’easter.
“It’s just been such a heavy snow,” said Williams, “you could hear the branches cracking and breaking.
“In the last storm I was outside with my wife brushing snow off our shrubs and ornamental trees with a broom to stop them from breaking.”
William advises doing that only if it’s safe to go outside.
"I keep telling my friends and customers that this is the new norm," added Williams. "We're getting very used to this."
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