Tree removal companies inundated with calls after Irene

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tree removal companies have been inundated with calls since hurricane Irene, but the workload is tremendous and dangerous. Some homeowners are having to wait longer than others.

The work is happening right now for some, while others may have to wait months for trees to be chopped up and hauled away. That's the case for the Cunninghams in Stratford Hills, who are planning an outdoor wedding for a relative at their home.

Depending on which way you look. One view at Ed and Cabell Cunningham's house is serene.

If you turn the other direction, devastation. This is one of seven trees uprooted by hurricane Irene at their Stratford Hills home.

"As if it came down in slow motion," said Cabell Cunningham.

A near miss. It split in two as it came down on another tree, just feet from the house. The Cunninghams are waiting for a tree removal company to take on the job.

"We've got calls out to three," said Ed Cunningham.

True Timber is one of them. Scott Turner said about a thousand others have called too. His phone was ringing even during our interview.

"Our best we can do take care of 10 to 15 of those a day," said Turner.

His company is up against the sheer immensity of the work and the danger of power lines.

"If someone called me for a tree on a house, it's at least 5 or 6 days," said Turner.

Possibly sooner depending on the urgency and location.

"If things are on the ground, it could be months I believe," said Turner.

Like at the Cunninghams. Ed's backyard overlooks the James River.

A view that caught the eyes of his brother and fiancee. This is supposed to be a backdrop for a wedding in about a month but with a backlog for tree removal, the bride and groom are looking for an alternative. The wedding is October 8th.

"I'll bet they'll still be in the yard, I'm guessing up until the first of October," said Cunningham.

I you have a tree down in your yard, Turner recommends you take your first best option for professional removal and one you can trust.

Turner said the average price range for tree removal is between $2,000 and $8,000.

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