Tree Pros Make Humane Society Safer -- Diseased Oak Removed as Service Project

By Gang, Christine Arpe | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), January 6, 2012 | Go to article overview

Tree Pros Make Humane Society Safer -- Diseased Oak Removed as Service Project


Gang, Christine Arpe, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Two days after Christmas, a group of hardworking tree professionals gave the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County a gift of their time and skills by removing a hazardous tree from the grounds.

The Humane Society was the recipient of the 2011 "Day of Caring" given by members of the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council of West Tennessee.

As a community service project, the local chapter of of the council provides a nonprofit organization with tree services, such as removal, treatment or pruning.

Wes Hopper, treasurer and owner of a tree service business called Urban Forestry, first saw the huge declining oak tree when he visited the Humane Society. He recommended to the board that the Humane Society be the recipient of services.

"I felt they deserved it for all of the good things they do for homeless animals," Hopper said.

Woodland Tree Service, which is also a member of the forestry council, provided the equipment and most of the crew to remove the tree, a service that would have cost about $5,000.

"We are so grateful for the donation," said Alexis Amrose, executive manager of the Humane Society. "The money we didn't have to spend for tree removal will be used in providing medical care, food and shelter for the injured and abused animals we rescue."

The oak tree, located in an outdoor exercise space for dogs, was infected by hypoxylon canker, a fungal disease that causes dieback, weakening of limbs and eventual death of the tree.

"It was dangerous for the dogs, workers and volunteers," said Britt Hubbard, director of plant health care services and outside sales for Woodland.

The crew of eight gathered around 8 on a misty morning and didn't finish the job until about 2:30 p.m.

Because of fencing and other space issues, the tree could not be cut and dropped, as is done in some situations.

Instead, Regoberto Juarez, a Woodland staffer, climbed the tree and cut it into sections after the section was tied onto a crane by Julio Moguel, also a Woodland staffer. Roman Sotelo operated the crane.

"Everything went smoothly," Hubbard said.

Woodland staffers enjoy working on "Day of Caring" projects, he said.

"It's fun to give back to our community, especially at this time of the year when it can be in the spirit of Christmas," Hubbard said.

Winter is a good time for tree maintenance and removal.

"It's easier to tell if a tree is in decline when the leaves are off," Hopper said. "Also, the branches are not as weighty."

It's easier on the workers, too. "We don't have to worry about heat exhaustion," he said.

Removal of trees is done all year. But now is the ideal time for pruning because the trees are dormant.

If you think your trees need attention, Hopper outlined some steps you should take:

If work needs to done, choose a company by using referrals from friends or by having two to three estimates from reputable companies. …

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