Source: Sherman Publications

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Hazardous trees coming down

by CJ Carnacchio

September 21, 2011

A list of trees deemed unsafe have been slated for removal from Oxford Township's cemeteries.

Last week, township officials voted 7-0 to hire Owen Tree Service to remove 12 trees and one stump from the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Baldwin Rd., north of Oakwood Rd., and the Burdick Street cemetery.

The Attica-based company submitted a $3,540 bid to do the work. There were seven bidders for the job with estimates ranging from $3,500 to $5,550.

All the trees scheduled for removal were selected by township Supervisor Bill Dunn and Clerk Curtis Wright.

Dunn said they chose trees that were either dead or had broken limbs, which he colorfully described as "widow-makers," that could come down as a result of high winds.

These inspections were prompted by an Aug. 10 incident in which Wright's mother sustained minor injures when a tree limb estimated to be about 50 feet long and 15 inches in diameter broke off and struck her while she was visiting her husband's grave in the township cemetery on the south side of W. Burdick St.

Although he admitted they're not experts, Dunn indicated that he and Wright, "to the best of our ability," tried to select trees which were "obvious" safety hazards based on visual inspection.

"There's limbs that, just by observation, you know are going to come down in the very near future," he said.

Rather than "disfigure a tree" by cutting off all the limbs and just leaving a trunk, Dunn reasoned it's better to just remove the whole thing. "Some that you would say should be trimmed would look pretty pathetic with 90 percent of the limbs gone," he said.

Dunn indicated that photographs of all the headstones near these trees will be taken just in case they're damaged during the removal process.

"(Owen Tree Service) will be notified that if they destroy any headstone, it will be replaced," the supervisor said. "We understand the sensitivity (required when) working in a cemetery. We deal with it almost daily."