Perilous pine like a 'drunk driver'

| 08 Jun 2015 | 01:24

By Linda Fields
— When a dead tree poses a safety threat, commonsense says take it down.

In the past, people have lost their lives as a result of trees falling onto cars in Pike County and elsewhere.

Recently, the Associated Press reported a property owner in Somerset County who paid to remove 60 dead or dying trees along Route 403, where last year a tree that fell on a car killed two child passengers (see related story). But taking down a tall tree can be costly and in many cases unaffordable for a homeowner.

In Milford Borough, a very tall, very dead pine tree leans precariously toward Water Street, near the Upper Mill, which sees a considerable amount of foot and vehicle traffic. This dead tree, set back from the road, is tall enough to take the power line down with it should it fall. But Milford resident Camilla Doyle fears it might also take a life.

“I’m afraid to drive by it, especially when there’s wind or rain," she said.

She hopes the power company will help.

After hearing from the Courier, line chief Joe Cronin of Orange & Rockland Utilities checked out the tree and promised to “pass it on to the powers that be,” explaining that his equipment was not up to the task. He said taking down every dead tree would be like “getting every drunk driver off the road,” but he agreed this tree should come down. He said he would tell his dispatcher.

So who is equipped for the task?

Henry Fairweather of Nelson Tree Service, a contractor for O&R, said the tree was already highlighted on his map. The once-proud pine will come down safely, he said.

Camilla Doyle responded to the news with one word.

“Hallelujah," she said.
Stay tuned. We will be watching.