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Tree service branches out in park

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Agreement beneficial to all

By Lisa King

If you've driven by the softball fields at Clear Creek Park and wondered why huge trucks sporting cherry pickers are parked there on a regular basis, there's a simple explanation, say park officials.

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"They’re doing a lot of tree trimming and cutting all around Shelby and surrounding counties, so we work in partnership with them," said Shelby County Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Pickens.

"We let them park in our parking lot and for allowing them to park there, they help us by trimming some trees that are on the park, and cutting down some trees."

Wright Tree Service offers a variety of services, including vegetation management and storm restoration but they specialize in working with utility companies across the nation, such as Shelby Energy.

"They have worked for Shelby Energy for almost two years – they cut our right-of-ways," said Candi Waford, spokesperson for Shelby Energy.

It may seem strange for a company based in Des Moines, Iowa to take a job so far from home until you consider that Wright, a company that dates back to 1933, is one of the largest right-of-way contractors in the United States, with more than 2,700 employees across 12 geographic divisions.

As to why Shelby Energy did not choose to hire a company a little closer to home – and there are many – Waford said that reputation and the right price were key factors in that decision.

"They were awarded the work through the bidding process," she said, adding that a reputable company with a proven track record is also essential and that Wright fit the bill in both respects.

"Right-of-ways are important, just cutting all the trees so they won’t bring the wires down," she said.

Pickens said the company also does very good work taking down and pruning individual trees for the park.

"We’ve got several trees around the park that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer and some other trees that over the years have gotten wind damage or disease or whatever, and they have to be cut down, so they cut them down and cut them up for us," he said.

"They’ve got all the equipment to do all these big trees, and we’re not equipped to handle the really big trees."

Cory Kobernick, Division Manager at Wright Tree Service described the company’s work with Shelby Energy as a long-standing one.

“Wright Tree Service has been working on Shelby Energy Cooperative, Inc’s property for two years, and we currently have seven crews pruning trees away from the power lines,” he said. “This type of pruning is important to ensure Shelby Energy continues to provide safe and reliable service to their members. Wright Tree Service is working with Shelby Energy to continue to reduce issues caused by tree-related outages.”