30 August 2011 Advice on Hurricane Irene.

Our current backlog is 5 working days.

If a tree has fallen on a structure, call 911. It is important to have the structure checked to make sure it is still sound for occupancy. Emergency personnel should make that judgement. Most departments will NOT mitigate the tree damage for you, but their assesment is important for your safety.

There are basically 2 types of tree failures during this type of event. The first is the splitting of a co-dominant stem. This type of failure is a developmental flaw in the tree. The balance of the tree should be carefully evaluated for probability of failure. The urgency of the matter will be situational. The second type of failure is a root plate failure (uprooted). Due to the weather this week (rain on Thursday), we expect this to be a problem. The Thursday rain reduced the surface tension of the soils facilitating additional, rapid water absorption. Saturated soils allow more slippage of roots and can reduce a tree's ability to remain in the ground. If you have a complete root plate failure, the tree will be temporarily at rest - use extreme caution when in proximity to this tree. Have an inspection performed on your other trees as soon as possible. With sustained winds, failures of the trunk can occur as well, though less common.

If you have damage, carefully evaluate if you have an emergency. Paying overtime rate to have work completed immediately may not be in your best interest. If a tree has fallen on your house and is at rest, resources are best spent covering the damage to the structure to prevent further water damage. An emergency would be a tree that has begun uprooting or failing and has not fallen yet AND has something of value in it's path. It is imperative that the target area be evacuated.

Please, please be aware that there is extreme pressure involved with ANY fallen tree. One cut can suddenly release this pressure, and it often doesn't take much cutting. Just cutting a few wood fibers can cause tons of tree to shift and cause further injury or damage. Have some patience in waiting for a professional to help with your problem.

Do NOT use door to door soliciting companies or individuals! 1. They know there is high demand and often overcharge for their services. 2. There is little chance that they are carrying the proper insurance. 3. The training will be lacking. 4. If there is additional damage or an injury, the homeowner will be held accountable in the courts, there is precedence.

No work will be done until a contract is in place. We prefer to have a fixed price on the work performed. In the event that you require emergency service, our rate will be charged from port to port at a rate that will be discussed. We have different crew sizes to accomodate different tasks. The overtime rate for a standard crew of three, an aerial device and a chipper is $427.50/hr. You will be advised about the minimum charge when you call.

If you feel you must use a door to door "company", DO NOT PAY UNTIL THE WORK IS COMPLETELY DONE. You may not be able to get them to finish the task. Note that cleanup and disposal are the most difficult parts of our work. Making the cuts is the most enjoyable part of the work. Please do not call us if you do not wish to have the job done completely. We do not offer a "cut and leave it" price.

Carefully check your insurance policy. Many insurers do not cover wind damage. Our contract will be with the homeowner and NOT with the insurance company. Our fees are not contingent on how much your insurance company covers.

Everybody stay safe!!!