Is that tree dead? How to tell before it creates a problem

Keep in mind you can legally trim whatever trees hang over your property

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When a storm hits, it’s too late. You have to be proactive to avoid damage.

The sound of chainsaws filled the air. Just hours before, rain and wind brought the trees down.

On Longhill Street, a large tree fell across the road. The tree was previously dead. There was a landscaping company there to clean up the tree, but before they could get to work, they waited on word from the Springfield Police who checked to see if the tree fell on live electrical wires.

“Here we’re going to take the chainsaws, cut it up into smaller section, load it into our truck, take it back to the shop and put it through the chipper and then take it to a farm and get rid of it,” Conor Murphy, Operations Manager at Gleason Johndrow Landscaping said.

To know if a tree is vulnerable, check for lost bark, rotting, insects, soft or hollow spots or shallow roots.

Bill Metzger, Chief Operations Officer at Gleason Johndrow Landscaping told 22News about the fallen tree’s condition and location. “Where their footing is. If it is on an embankment, if there is not much soil or support or if there is erosion around it. Anything along those lines is all stuff to look at.”

Once you’ve identified a problem tree, take action. If the base is on your property, you are responsible.

If it’s your neighbors, make them aware of your concern.

“Conversation often will alleviate most situations but none the less if there is no response than yes, documentation is the key,” Jack Toner of Sumner & Toner Insurance Agency said. “So a certified letter.”

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy with liability and medical coverage would kick in in the event of an accident, but you are subject to paying your deductible.

Keep in mind that even if your neighbors don’t help you, you can legally trim whatever hangs over on your property.