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Tree removal companies swamped as homeowners clean up after late May snow

Derek Wasiecko and his team will be removing branches and cleaning up trees for a while after a snowstorm brought debris down on homes, cars and lawns in the metro.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Derek Wasiecko usually scouts jobs ahead of time, and his clients typically mull over the quotes he delivers. But Tree Climbers of Colorado is swamped after a late May snowstorm brought branches raining down on homes, cars and lawns across the Denver metro area. 

"It's crazy, I started at 7:00 a.m. yesterday, and probably worked until 7:30 p.m. or something," Wasiecko said. "But it was good. Can't turn down a bunch of people coming to me."

Good for business, but bad for trees.

Jennifer Newton pulled up a chair and watched as Wasiekco and his crew cleaned up the branches from her yard and climbed through her 60-foot-tall ash tree, chainsawing snapped limbs and guiding them safely to the ground. 

"It hasn't killed my house. The ones that have been falling are good," she said. "I'm crossing my fingers. I've done a lot of praying."

Newton's ash tree has been through this before. She said there's a late snow every few years that weighs down the tree's branches and causes some damage. She estimates it's 90 years old, and hopes it bounces back from the damage like it has so many times before.

"I've been in this house 32 years, so I've been watching this tree get smaller and smaller every storm," she said. 

RELATED: Where to take branches, debris from May snowstorm

Newton wanted to clear the branches out because she knows it's dangerous to leave them dangling over her home and the sidewalk. 

Wasiecko said leaving snapped branches up there is also bad for the tree.

"It leaves open wounds on the trees for pests and pathogens to get in there," he said. 

When he climbs down, Wasiecko and his crew saw the branches up and toss them in a trailer. Then, they take everything to a company that turns the debris into mulch.

He expects to be clearing debris from this storm for at least the next few days.

RELATED: Proctor's Garden: How to assess storm damage in your garden


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