59 Trees Tapped To Come Down In Great Falls After Tragedy

6:31 PM, Aug 12, 2012   |    comments
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GREAT FALLS, Va. (WUSA) -- Monday, dozens of trees in the Great Falls area were scheduled to be cut down. VDOT, however, postponed the removal until Tuesday. Officials did not give a reason for the delay.

Once removal starts, VDOT says to expect delays in the area for the next three weeks.

A 40-ton tree that came down, killing a man last month, prompted Fairfax County officials to take a look at the health of the trees.

Flowers mark the spot where the massive oak tree fell and killed 64-year old Carl Roeth. He was stuck in traffic along Georgetown Pike when the tree crashed down on his car on July 17, 2012.

The base and middle of the giant tree was empty, and 98% of the roots were rotten. The incident prompted arborists from VDOT and Fairfax County to survey dying trees in Great Falls. It also brought tree lovers to the understanding that there comes a time when trees must come down before nature tells it to.

Robert Vickers, is the resident tree guy in Great Falls.

"I know most of the big trees in Great Falls," said Vickers.

He loves big trees and even documents them, but even he knows a tree is not worth a life.

Vickers stated, "It's the right thing to do. I don't like to see healthy trees come down but I wish it would have come down earlier because it was a tragedy."

Fifty-nine trees will take about three weeks to cut down.

VDOT will take down 25 trees along River Bend Road, 15 on Browns Mill Road west of Difficult Run, 7 on Beach Mill Road, 6 on Georgetown Pike, 4 on Walker Road and 2 along Utterback Store Road.

VDOT says there are 22 million trees in Fairfax County and is too daunting for them to keep track of all of them.

They have to rely on residents to alert them of decaying trees.

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