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Insurance might not pay if tree hits home, Grand Strand landscaping companies say

Watch Hurricane Florence’s path across the Atlantic as it approaches the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence's path for this week, according to NOAA.
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Hurricane Florence's path for this week, according to NOAA.

Local tree companies fielded dozens of calls early this week from locals hoping to remove large trees — before Hurricane Florence does.

Removing trees is a preventive measure and saves money instead of replacing a roof, said Don Sprouse with Sprouse Landscaping.

“You pay as much or more when the tree hits your house,” Sprouse said.

As Hurricane Florence strengthens and moves toward the Carolina coast, the storm is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds that could uproot trees. Some locals have taken to social media to find companies to help remove trees from their yards ahead of landfall.

Cameras outside the International Space Station capture views of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic as the station passes over the storm at 8:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 10. (No Audio)

John Moore, owner of Moore Landscaping and Tree Service, said he received 20 calls Monday morning from people looking to cut down trees. He echoed Sprouse that the move is preventive.

Many of the calls are to remove trees that already are dead, Moore said. The dead trees pose a problem during the storm because an insurance company won’t pay if one causes damage, Moore added. The companies view not removing the tree as negligence by the homeowner.

People should not remove trees on their own — especially dead ones — as they are likely to get hurt, Moore said.

Scott Barth with Extreme Tree Removal said locals should “absolutely” not remove trees larger than 6-feet tall or wider than a person’s wrist. Tree companies use special ropes and equipment to remove trees, where a resident might only have a store-bought chainsaw.

People should never cut trees from a ladder because they might kick out from under a person, Barth said.

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