Positively Jax: Tree trimmers team up to help Jacksonville veteran

Living on a fixed income, Bobby Long couldn’t afford to remove two trees looming over his Oceanway home

Living on a fixed income, Bobby Long couldn’t afford to remove two trees looming over his Oceanway home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To most people, the sound of heavy machinery first thing in the morning is a symbol of hard, time-consuming work. For Bobby Long, a disabled veteran, that sound is heaven sent.

Long said that because he lives on a fixed income, he couldn’t afford to pay for the removal of two trees looming overhead that had become a hazard to his Oceanway home and property.

“I wanted to get them trimmed up at first, but the tree man told me they looked like they were about ready to fall,” Long said.

That’s why Canary Tree Services teamed up with Advanced Tree and Landscape Services to do the job for free. News4Jax asked Long if this gives him hope. He choked up with his answer.

“Yeah, yeah it does,” Long said. “It gives me hope for mankind because you don’t see that very often.”

Justin Hartmann, the owner of Canary Tree Services, said he was first contacted by Advanced Tree and Landscape Services about partnering up for the project. For Hartmann, signing on was a no-brainer.

“We do a program called ‘Tree Work for Heroes’ where we do 100-percent free work for veterans who are disabled or unable to pay for the service,” Hartmann said. “We’ll come out and do it for free for them.”

Hartmann said not only is this a great way to give back, it’s an appreciation felt by everyone involved.

“My guys love it, it brings a camaraderie to the crew,” Hartmann said. “We appreciate the opportunity to be able to be able to go out and give back to the community. It feels great.”

Hartmann said the equipment that was used for the job is called a Megatron.

“It’s a large crane with a long reach that can grab the material and cut it,” Hartmann said. “We don’t have to put a man up in the tree or risk anyone’s life. We can be hundreds of feet from the truck.”

For Long, this generous act of kindness means everything.

“Most businesses want to make all the money they can, they don’t really care about the little guy,” Long said tearfully. “I appreciate them so much for doing it.”

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.