Tree removal company works to remove fallen trees, branches

Many tree service companies have been swamped since last week's storm.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Bartlett Tree Experts are working overtime in overdrive.

"Since the storm, pretty much all we've done is respond to storm calls," said Scott VanWyk, an arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts. "Five crews, about 20 in the field, and as much overtime as we're legally allowed to do and keep our guys safe."

It's so much overtime that the company's employees were forced to take the day off.

"They put in too many hours because we asked them to, and they're very willing but we have to consider safety and so they need some time off so they can recoup and get their energy off," VanWyk said.

But they'll be back Wednesday.

"We have everyone on call and our guys are veterans, we know the drill," VanWyk said. "What we might be looking for in particular are limbs that were fractured this first time but can't be readily seen and now can be more damage by the second round of winds."

So far, crews have responded to approximately 100 properties.

"Even through Saturday and Sunday and some of those jobs of course are trees on houses, on fences, and cars, so we've tried to help as many as we can and still operate safely," VanWyk said.

Safety is a No. 1 priority.

"You have to watch out for downed wires and fractured limbs that could fall on the guys and hazards that we can't say so we have to operate a little more carefully than we typically do," VanWyk said.

Although you may not know exactly what to look for, VanWyk suggests surveying the trees surrounding your home.

"Cracks, seams, bad branch unions things that could cause things to fail because they usually fail predictable ways. it's not typically a surprise when we pull up, 'OK, that tree broke a part and we can see why,' so it's kind of like reconstructing the crime scene," VanWyk said.

Bartlett's phones have been ringing off the hook from people needing their trees or branches removed from their home.

While it can be frustrating, VanWyk said the best thing to do is have patience and not try and remove anything yourself. 

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