Storms mean lots of work for tree removal workers

Posted: February 12, 2014

Nobody pines for a disastrous storm, but this winter, business has been coming out of the woodwork for tree specialists.

The broken limbs and falling trees that resulted from last week's ice storm meant stress and holes in the roof for some. But to others it has been a moneymaker. Tree removal companies have been getting a lot of calls and a lot of business.

"I've been doing this 42 years, and it's never been worse - or better for me, anyway," said Rick Crecraft of Crecraft for Tree Craft in Wayne.

"I got about 100 calls and counting. There will be more. Literally every property in the whole Main Line has some damage."

Crecraft said that most of the calls could have been avoided if the tree owners had done some simple maintenance.

"Mostly, people allow their trees and shrubs to grow too big, and because of that, when they get encrusted with snow and ice, they break, and then you have the domino effect," Crecraft said. "All you need is one to break, and stuff comes down, and breaks stuff below it."

Birches, white pines, Bradford pears, and arborvitae are the trees most likely to cause problems during storms, Crecraft said. There have been so many downed trees, he said, that he has not had the opportunity to get to some of the bigger ones.

"I've had some trees on houses and stuff like that. I haven't bothered with the humongous trees yet. . . . There are some sizable ones," Crecraft said. "Right now I'm just concentrating on the emergencies - off cars, off houses, and off driveways."

For other companies, it may not have been the worst they have seen, but it is in the running.

"It's been busy. We're very busy, kind of working every day, 14 hours a day," said Mike Gillan with MG Tree in Broomall. "There are a lot of tree limbs down because of the weight from snow and ice. Plus, we do snow removal, too. We really have been getting drained. But we've had other storms that have taken trees down, whether it's been hurricanes or just strong winds after a heavy, heavy rain."

Heather Maile with Landis Tree Services in Telford said Landis has received nearly 200 calls after the storm.

"It's almost as bad as [Hurricane] Sandy," Maile said. "Well, maybe not quite as bad."


cmindock@phillynews.com

@clarkmindock

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