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Dead tree removal spares headache, tragedy

Trees have come down on homes and businesses costing thousands of dollars in damages and in extreme cases, the loss of life. Such a tragedy happened Sunday night in Glendora.

Oftentimes, those trees come down during severe weather.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission aims to assist home and business owners with evaluating those trees on the property to determine when they should come down.

“If someone has any doubt,” said Todd Matthews with the MFC. “They can call the Forestry Commission or a local arborist to come look at the tree.”

MFC doesn’t charge for the service. They come out, look at the tree, and then tell you whether or not it needs to come down and when the removal should happen.

“We encourage people to look at their trees at least once a year, and after a major weather event,” said Matthews. “You see trees starting to lean, or cavities in the tree, cracks that go up.. most people can spot things like that.”

Matthews said when it doubt, call them out. They’ll look at the tree even if you only spot one of the red flags that a tree could be dead.

If a tree does need to come down, Matthews said be careful who you hire.

“You don’t want to get just a regular fly-by-night guy with a pickup truck and a chainsaw in the back,” Matthews said.

The MFC encourages home and business owners to call on licensed, reputable professionals for tree removal.

Matthews added that many tree branch removal jobs shouldn’t be handled by yourself.

“You can go on YouTube and see tons of videos dropping branches on their house, trees on their house, getting hurt,” said Matthews. “If you have to hold a chainsaw over your head.. that’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

The MFC included a few quick tips regarding tree removal:

  • Engage in regular inspections of trees around your home & check trees at least once / year (especially after major severe weather event)
  • Contact a certified arborist for questions & further assistance removing potential hazardous trees or limbs
  • If you hire someone to take down a tree or remove a limb make sure they are licensed and bonded – you are working with large trees or limbs that are very close to your home & family in most cases. Don’t just hire anyone who knocks on your door.

Professional arborists know the options for safely reducing potential hazards:

•             Options for removing potential threat:

o             Move any “targets” (ie something that could be damaged by the tree or limb if it fell)

o             Restrict access to the area (don’t let children play near the tree)

o             Prune limbs of the tree

o             Remove the tree completely

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