Trees that were toppled in Friday’s storm in Mountain Top were cut up by chainsaws as this one off of South Main Road.Times Leader Staff Photo/Pete G. Wilcox
FAIRVIEW TWP. – The town names on the trucks were from as far away as Blakeslee.
Opportunists? Maybe. But next to insurance companies, tree removal services are usually next in line for pleas of help when it comes to homeowners affected by felled trees.
The damaging winds of Friday’s storm left strings of splintered tree trunks, broken branches and debris on homes throughout the Mountain Top region.
Chris Myers, a Mountain Top native and 17-year tree removing professional, knew his Saturday would hectic. He’d never seen such damage in Mountain Top. While the damage means more work and more money for people in Myers’ trade, seeing families struggle with the storm’s aftermath weighed on Myers.
“Nobody has experienced anything like this in Mountain Top,” said Myers, the proprietor of Chris’s Tree Service. “It’s unbelievable the damage that was done. I really feel for all of these people.”
Myers rode in his cherry-picker to the second story of the house, a gas-powered chainsaw in hand, to begin the careful 45-minute task of removing a 35-foot white oak tree that rested above the family room of Dan and Jill English’s Bow Creek Drive home.
“It’s very interesting,” Jill English remarked as she watched Myers painstakingly remove the tree from atop her home. “It’d be more interesting if it was on somebody else’s house.”
The tree was tethered to a line threaded through a pulley and attached to the trunk of another broken tree. Piece by piece, Myers sliced away the smaller branches and cut the trunk from the top down. The rope kept the forked tree body from crashing into the side of the home. Wood chips rested in the corner of his left eye as he spoke with the English family about the damage.
Myers left the mess of cut wood and twigs in the English family’s front yard and was off to the next job. He and his crews will go to the job sites later to put the debris into a wood chipper. Saturday was all about securing homes at risk of further damage.
In all, the English family lost five trees in the front yard that will eventually become mulch on Myers’ second trip around.
The cost of most tree removal services depend on the amount of work involved in a particular job. Myers said it can range anywhere from $100 to $1,500. Most insurance, Myers said, will only cover the damage the tree does to the house and not the removal.
Myers said many industrious folks will attempt to save money by chopping up trees by themselves, but often don’t understand the dangers of doing so. Stress placed on a fallen tree trunk can turn wood into barreling projectiles that cause more damage to a home.
“Be careful,” he warned. “These trees have so much pressure on them. “If you cut them, they’ll go flying.”
Judd Spain, of Dropzone Treeworks in Blakeslee, toured Mountain Top’s battered neighborhood’s Saturday to see if it was worth transporting his equipment to the region for work. Apparently there was enough to go around.
“I’m probably going to get my equipment and come back up here,” he said.
Carl George, owner of George’s Tree Service, donned spikes and a tether to scale a tree that rested atop Linda and John Teberino’s home on Shady Tree Lane near Bow Creek.
“He is amazing,” Linda Teberino said snapping photographs of George that she’ll later send to her brother.
George’s day started at 8 a.m. with a slew of telephone calls of people needing help.
“We’ve got about 20 right now, and probably another 20 waiting on the answering machine back at the office,” George said.
George said to be wary of any tree removal services that appear disreputable, especially people going door to door looking for work. The best advice he could give to anyone with large amounts of tree debris is, “be patient.”
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