Get rid of dangerous trees in yard

Don't wait as hurricane season heats up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As hurricane season heats up, now is the time to get rid of dangerous trees.

The question is, how can you tell which trees in your yard need to stay or go.

"Bark falling off, branches hanging over the home that are not yielding green leaves or there's dead branches on the way up to the green," said Ray Taylor, of Whole 9 Yards Landscaping.

Then there's the dead giveaway a tree is harmful to your home: "Trees that have no bark left on them are obvious that they are dead," Taylor said. "The neighbor's tree behind me, won't be long until it's gone."

Taylor makes a lot of house calls during hurricane season.

"The backlog is between two and three weeks minimum," he said. "Some guys are two months out. It depends on how much damage the hurricane is doing."

Taylor said there are plenty of things you can do before a dead tree falls and causes a disaster.

"Cutting low-lying limbs and limbs over the home is like No. 1 most priority," he said.

It's important to be aware of the condition of the trees in your yard and your neighbors'.

"Any branches protruding into the neighbor's yard you're legally allowed to take out," Taylor said.

Make sure the tree company you hire is a licensed and insured company.

"All the time I see these pickups with ladders hanging out the back," Taylor said. "We're here to cut your trees. Be careful. Buyer beware."

If an uninsured company damages your home while cutting a tree, your insurance will not cover the costs.

If you're unsure about the trees in your yard, call a tree surgeon. Most of them will do an estimate for free.

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