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Where

When the Tree Falls
LumberJack Jim Is Rooted in Good Service

Writer / Lois Tomaszewski
Photography / Timothy Hare

The American poet Joyce Kilmer wrote that he would “never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Trees are beautiful and fulfill a need on this planet. But what do you do when that tree becomes a hazard or liability? Call in the expert.

Jim Lea is the owner of LumberJack Jim Tree Service in Warsaw. The business was established in 2005, and his experience with trees was honed working in dense Canadian forests years before that.

“I planted trees for six summers in British Columbia, Canada to pay for college,” Lea says. “During my fifth summer, I learned how to run a chainsaw in the bush. Our task was brushing and thinning, a process where the planted forests are thinned out to keep them healthy.”

He takes that experience and utilizes those skills to help local property owners manage the trees on their property. Improper landscaping planning can cause problems as the trees mature. Services like the ones Lea provides can help keep trees health and property owners protected.

“When trees have been planted too close to buildings, they can be a hazard to the homeowner,” he says. “In storms the branches or the whole tree could fall on the house causing harm to those inside and damage to the structure.  Also, if the tree is planted too close to the foundation the roots can crack the foundation.”

Knowing the characteristics of the tree species and understanding how the tree grows can prevent damage to a home later.

“Last week we took out a cottonwood tree that grew up right next to the gas meter at a residence,” he says. “Cottonwood trees are tall and soak up a lot of water. Lightning regularly hits these tall trees. In this case a lightning strike could have ignited the gas and caused an explosion, putting the homeowner at great risk of harm.”

Lea can safely and expertly remove trees that are too close to a foundation or planted too close to a house. His services also provide for tree trimming, storm damage cleanup and stump grinding. He does both commercial and residential work in a 50-mile radius of Warsaw and Kosciusko County.

Removing a tree or trimming the treetops is not an easy task. It requires experience in the proper use of a chainsaw and other equipment. Skilled tree trimmers must also know how to climb a tree safely and work from a bucket lift. All this experience prevents accidents and allows the tree or limbs to be removed with precision.

“The most difficult is getting the tree down safely with houses, sheds, fences and powerlines among other things to watch out for,” Lea says.

There are some visual signs that can signal to a property owner that it is time to cut it down. Recognizing these signs can ensure that the tree is removed before it falls in a storm.

“If the top of the tree is dying or a large section of the tree has died,” is one of the signs Lea tells property owners to look for. “If it’s diseased, if there are lots of holes and the tree is hollow” are other signs. And, finally, property owners should look to see if the tree “is splitting at one of major Ys on the trunk.”

Once a tree is on the ground, Lea and his crew clean up the site.

“We do full clean-up, chipping branches and removing the wood unless the homeowner wants it,” Lea says.

The wood is hauled off to be cut into firewood, which is offered for sale. He has plans to cut some of the higher quality logs into lumber.

Lea utilizes a five-star approach to his customer service philosophy. Pleasing his customer is paramount, but so is being reflective of his faith.

“We are a Christian company and always seek to honor God through our work,” he says. “We always shoot for our 5-stars of Excellence: safety, professional, quality, diligence and reliability.

LumberJack Jim Tree Service is located at 2311 S. Cost a Plenty Road in Warsaw. To find out more or to arrange for tree service, call Lea at 574-371-6536 to schedule a free estimate.

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