A tree that is too close to your house can be dangerous and costly for a number of reasons. It could fall on your house, it could create a fire hazard, tree roots could penetrate underground drainage pipes, they could facilitate access of wood-boring insects, and limits the lifespan of your roof as a tree too close could promote moss growth. A tree can even fall on your car, adding to your headaches. Removing a tree before it becomes a problem will save you money.
The October Nor’easter of a couple of years ago caused many trees to fall and was the primary reason for the lengthy power outages. Tree crews needed clear the path before utility crews could get to work. Many home owners learned the hard way why it is good idea to remove trees that pose a risk to one’s home.
A new show on National Geographic Channel demonstrates the dangers of removing trees from a home owner’s property, which is why it should be handled by a professional. The show is called Big Bad Wood and is a good way for home owners to educate themselves about how professional tree removal companies get the job done.
The show is on my radar because one of the crews featured is owned by a friend from Hopkinton, MA, where I went to high school. The company he owns is American Climbers and is portrayed as the Metrowest Daily News described: “‘the cowboys’ of the show. The rough-around-the-edges team tackles jobs other crews don’t dare touch.”
In the first episode, which premiered on October 17 at 9 pm., the crew of American Climbers dealt with a tree in an urban setting that was situated between a house and power lines. Adding to the risk of property damage was a car whose owner could not be found so it could not be moved.
Now these reality shows are usually dramatized, so I knew right away that this episode would not end well for the car. I also knew that my friend had a fun time filming the scene. It shouldn’t be seen as a reflection of their competence and professionalism. What’s more, this company carries a million dollars in insurance.
The process of removing a tree is pretty simple to understand. They have the skills and equipment to safely climb the tree and cut off all of the branches. Then they start shortening the tree by cutting off the top in sections and safely lowering them to the ground with rope. Depending on the space available they will cut down the entire tree, but not when it is located in a tight spot.
As one would expect from a reality show, they like to dramatize certain situations for entertainment purposes, but it highlights the risks involved and what could go wrong. In the case of my friend from American Climbers, a part of the tree fell on a car.
Check out Big Bad Wood Thursday at 9pm on National Geographic Channel.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, a Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.