Maintaining healthy trees may be best for your safety and your wallet

By WEEK Reporter

April 16, 2014 Updated Apr 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM CDT

EUREKA, Ill. --A terrible winter, a cold wet spring and high winds makes for some brutal conditions for trees. However, keeping your trees healthy may be the best decision for your safety and your wallet.

Trees--regal, large living things--as burly as they may seem--still need someone's tender love and care.

"It needs to be maintained on a yearly basis really," said Gene's Tree Service owner Lonnie Gene Robbins who has been working on trees almost every day.

"It's always best to get rid of dead limbs because they're dangerous," said Lonnie Gene's son Lonnie Jacob Robbins.

Lonnie Jacob and his family have been caring for trees for three generations. Wednesday, he and his father were protecting a home in Eureka by shaping up the homeowners trees. The branches of those trees could potentially fall on the home or the residents of the home.

"We're going to take out these small limbs, this dead wood and those limbs over the roof to keep them safe," said Lonnie Gene.

All because branches have a mind of their own and can smash your hard-earned possessions.

"Oh everything," Lonnie Gene. "On houses, in pools in cars. I've seen it all."

The Robbins use a lift to go as high as 65-feet in the air, assessing the trees health and sawing dead branches. It is work that generally should be left to experts.

Lonnie Jacob explain what to look for.

"If there are any kinds of cracks in the trunk, if there are certain types of holes," said Lonnie Jacob. "If so they are going to have a problem because you're going to have contractions and expansion with heat and cold, water's going to get in there because it's going to cause more damage."

This winter did not help. They say trees will feel winter's wrath for years, and they may be less green.

"We've had so much snow and then it warmed up and then back to deep freeze," said Lonnie Gene. "It's going to have an effect on budding this Spring."

However, they say the healthier your tree is, the more beautiful your Spring will be.

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