Holland area woman concerned about dead tree in her neighborhood

Trees at risk of falling

HOLLAND TWP.,MICH. - There have been two incidents recently involving trees falling over the road and injuring or killing people.
It prompted a viewer from Holland to contact 13 on your side about a tree in her neighborhood. 
 
In this case, the tree in question was at risk of falling over the road. 
 
"I'm not being paranoid, this is dangerous”, says Terri Beck, whose concerned about her neighbors who walk on Oakdale Court every day. "I've been calling about this for years. It scares me."
 
Terri says most of the tree is dead and needs to be cut down. "I've got a degree in wildlife management and botany was part of that degree. So, when I see a tree like that, it worries me."
 
The tree is close to the road and power lines. A few years ago, Terri contacted Holland Township, the Ottawa County Road Commission and the Holland Board of Public Works. She was told it wasn’t 50% dead, so no one would remove the tree. 
 
After seeing it get worse over time, Terri contacted 13 on your side for help. We asked certified Arborist Josh Watkin of Watkin Tree Pro to come out and look. Watkin is certified in tree risk assessment. He immediately noticed that most of the tree was dead. "There is 100% chance it's going to fall, 100% chance it will be in the road."
 
On a risk scale of 1 to 5, Josh puts the tree at a 4 to 5. He says it needs to come down. "So, it's just a matter of time before all or portions of the tree completely fail."
 
Terri says large limbs have already been falling on the road.  “I’m a disabled veteran, I can't do this myself". 
 
After being contacted by 13 on your side Wednesday, the Holland Board of Public Works re-assessed the tree and says it has gotten worse. Meantime, the Ottawa County Road Commission says there are hundreds of trees across West Michigan that are at-risk of coming down and it can’t get to all of them. It must assess which ones are the worst.
 
 In this case, the Holland BPW says the tree does appear to be dead. It will remove some of the branches Thursday, but must wait 4 to 5 weeks to remove the main upper part due to a family of baby raccoons. After that, the Ottawa County Road Commission will come-in and remove the lower half of the tree.
 

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