Bay Area storms keep tree service businesses busy

Since December, tree service companies have been loaded with work from fallen trees and limbs, as well as those that appear susceptible to toppling. 

Peter Andruecci is western manager for Bartlett Tree, a tree service founded 116 years ago with a hundred offices worldwide. He says the Bay Area got hit hard. 

"It's been significant; much more so than any year I can recall over the last three decades," said Andreucci.

It could have been worse but, Andreucci says the pandemic helped the tree service industry as people concentrated more on home projects, including tree maintenance. 

"We've observed that trees that are well maintained, over time, are generally able to withstand extremes in weather patterns such as drought, rain, wind, et cetera," said Andreuci.

Tree emergencies are the main business right now. 


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"It's not the kind of work that we seek out, but it's the work that finds us. The main predictor of tree failure, over the last two to three months, has been saturated soils and heavy winds," said Andreuci.

Small World Tree is a small San Anselmo tree service that relies primarily on clientele. 

"We're on call for certain cities at the moment and we just have to move quickly. We are super, super busy right now and we are just trying to catch up," said arborist James Cairnes of Small World Tree.

Emergency calls from non-clientele show telltale signs. 

"So we're looking at dead trees, trees that clearly have no root system either from drought or are dead and have been for some time," said Natalie Carey, a partner in Small World Tree.

They try to do inspections and emergency response as best they can. 

"You want to help out but it's kind of hard to do too when you have active emergencies going on.," aid Carey.

The best way to guard against a tree failure: is to have a certified arborist or a board-certified master arborist inspect the trees once a year that could fall on your home, a neighbor's home or onto a street.