Storm-damaged trees removed in Arlington

Tricky tree removal involves untangling limbs to prevent damage to homes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After severe storms blew through Arlington early last week, several trees were left damaged and hanging dangerously over homes.

The tree removal proved to be a major undertaking because the trees were entangled in other trees, and residents of the Grove Avenue neighborhood were thankful Friday that the trees have been removed.

"One street was completely demolished and about 8-10 trees in houses on Weller so we're very fortunate there isn't a lot of damage," said homeowner Laurie Murphy.

It cost Murphy $8,000 to have the tree hanging over her home removed.

Seven guys from Big Ben's Tree Service took down the two trees: one 95-foot-tall pine tree and a 90-foot-tall oak tree. Once one tree was uprooted, it took up half of the backyard.

"You have septic tanks under the trees, sidewalks, we had to take fences down to protect everything, you've got loose limbs at the top of the tree that could fall while we are doing it," said Ben Geiger, the owner of Big Ben's.

Geiger said his company sees things like this all the time, and said it's important to hire a professional to remove damaged trees.

"Always get a certificate of insurance in your hand," Geiger said. "We are the most dangerous people you can hire. That's why you want workman's comp and general liability. I'm the owner of the company. I try to be on every job that's over a house. It's dangerous."

Homeowners in the neighborhood are working with their insurance companies to try to get everything taken care of before Christmas.

Geiger said every piece of the removed trees will be recycled, and much of it will be used as heating fuel. 

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