County hybrids battered in snowstorm |

County hybrids battered in snowstorm

Special to the DailyA limb fell onto one of the county's hybrid Toyota Priuses during the recent storm.

EAGLE ” Last weekend’s heavy, wet snow wreaked havoc with leaf-laden trees around town. Broken branches littered yards, roofs, and roadways. A fall snowstorm dumped about five inches of snow in Eagle Saturday night through Sunday.

One of the hardest hit areas was the Eagle Town Park where large, old Siberian elm trees literally fell victim to the snow. Several branches broke off the statuesque trees, crashing to the ground and, in some cases, on Eagle County vehicles. As of mid-week, at least two of the old elms were deemed so unstable they had to be felled.

Prior to last weekend’s storm, the town of Eagle had brought in a tree service to begin trimming. According to Assistant Town Planner Yuri Kostick, trees around town park were slated for pruning as part of that work; but the snow pushed up the work.

“Fall is the time to do this. You generally want to wait until the trees have lost their leaves before you start pruning,” Kostick said.

Several of the broken trees were on Eagle County’s property, on the west side of the old courthouse. A few branches fell down on a couple of the county’s new Prius cars, causing minimal damage.

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County spokesman Justin Finestone said the county spends about $3,000 annually trimming trees on county-owned property, including around the courthouse and administration building, and at the fairgrounds. The annual tree trimming had been scheduled for this week; but the snow was ahead of that schedule.

“Our main concern is safety. We don’t want a tree limb falling on a person,” he said. The county ended up completely removing a tree by the horseshoe pit section of the park.

Brian McGinnis of the Town of Eagle Public Works Department said that every fall the town completes a tree trimming program, concentrating on older trees in the downtown area as well as trees that poise a safety hazard. Last week’s snowfall simply highlighted trees that need to be addressed.

What can residents do to help the town in its tree maintenance efforts?

“Please keep up with your own tree trimming,” McGinnis said. Once a tree gets large, it can be expensive to keep it trimmed, but large trees poise safety issues not only for homeowners but for town streets, he said. The town has the right to trim trees on private property if they are deemed unsafe, he said.

This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.

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