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  • Writer's picturejoshuatreeilm

Elm Tree Threatens Historic Home

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

At Joshua Tree of Wilmington, our arborists spend most days pruning, fertilizing, applying pest treatments, doing risk assessments, and planting trees. But we love it when someone comes to us with a challenge! So we were excited when we got called in for a very technical tree removal. A huge tree top fell on an antique house in the historic downtown. This called for a crane and some thrilling heroics. It was a job so thrilling it is worthy of a music video!

A recent wind storm broke the top of a large American elm tree (Ulmus americana). The tree top was barely connected to the trunk as it swung down. It landed on the decorative slate roof of the 1886 J. W. Murchison House. It slid down the ornate roof and rested against the antique brick chimney. The base splintered but was still connected to the trunk, we had to act before it did more damage.

Crane operators don't like to put a person "on the hook," which is an Arborist’s term for connecting a climber directly to the end of the cable. Safety regulations allow it if that’s the only safe way to do a tree job. It is dangerous, but tree company owner and ISA Certified Arborist Joshua Shields knows what he's doing. Please... do not try this at home!

Watch how it went!

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