Good questions: Cleaning up your yard after the storm

Above: Branches downed by the snow storm this weekend (photo by Chris Wraight)

Drive around town and you’ll see no shortage of trees and limbs littering yards in Southborough. With many of you faced with the challenge of cleaning up, I’ve put together a little FAQ to answer some of the questions I’m hearing from residents. If you have other questions not answered here, ask them in the comments.

How can I dispose of the debris?
You have a few options. If you have a Transfer Station sticker, you can bring debris there. The Transfer Station accepts unbagged leaves and brush up to four feet long and four inches thick. Alternatively, you can use a private hauler to get rid of the debris. Other option are to pile it up and wait until burning season begins in mid-January, or better yet, chip it up and use it in your landscaping.

Will the town pick up downed trees and limbs?
They will for town trees that have fallen or lost branches, but not for ones that were on your property. Southborough Emergency Management Director Neal Aspesi asks residents not to pile debris along the roadside for pickup. “Southborough is not equipped to collect mass debris,” he said.

How do I know if it was a town tree or my tree?
I asked DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan that question in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and here’s what she had to say:

The width of the right-of-way differs by street and the distance from the edge of pavement to the edge of the right-of-way also varies (and can even vary on one street). Generally we look for bounds, if they aren’t available we will go by old stone walls, if present, and if we don’t have either of those we will use the Town’s GIS (Geographic Information System).

The DPW will clean up large leaders from Town trees and will clean up Town trees that fall. Residents should call the DPW office when they have a questions about whether or not the DPW is going to clean up a tree or take a tree down. The office will make a work order for the Tree Warden.

The Tree Warden will check the tree to see if it belongs to the Town, determine if the tree needs to be taken down, or if large debris just needs to be picked up, and also determine if the DPW is able to do the work with our equipment and crew or if we need the Tree Contractor to do the work. The Tree Warden is a Highway Division employee and has many responsibilities beyond his Tree Warden duties so it can take a week or two for the Tree Warden to make the determinations and get back to a resident.

Can I get reimbursed for the damage to my property?
Maybe. Aspesi says citizens should document in detail all damage and related costs to their property before cleaning it up. Photos are vital. Residents should report damage to their personal insurance company. Then hang on to the documentation in case federal disaster funds are made available.

Anyone know of a reliable tree service?
If so, please share your recommendations in the comments.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12 years ago

I used SkyHook Tree & Son this summer for some tree removal, very pleased…Jason Magnusson, 508.839.4777

Southboro Daughter
12 years ago

We used Trillium Tree from Northboro after Hurricane Irene and they did a fantastic job. They are coming back tomorrow to remove trees that were upended – and sitting on our roof :( – during the October storm. Call Dave at 508-393-5107.

P.S. Thank you for all the updates during the storm. They have been invaluable!

Pat D
12 years ago

I too have used Trillium Tree and have been very happy with them. In fact, they came last week to cut branches hanging over our bedroom and over the power/phone lines from the street!! Little did we know that that was perfect timing for the Oct. storm arrived 3 days later. Highly recommend them.

12 years ago

We’ve had good service with Cedarlawn Tree in Ashland.

12 years ago

We have used Simkins Tree Service from Holliston, great job and very professional. 508-397-9532.

  • © 2024 — All rights reserved.