Tree removal starts in Great Falls

The Georgetown Pike tree that killed Albert Carl Roeth III stood 100-feet high, police say. (Courtesy of Fairfax County Police)

GREAT FALLS, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation Monday begins removing 59 trees that are safety risks to drivers in the Great Falls area.

The move to remove dead trees and those in decline comes after Albert Carl Roeth III’s death on July 17 brought the issue to the forefront. A 40-ton oak tree fell on his car on Georgetown Pike.

The tree had decayed, and Fairfax County arborists spent several days inspecting trees in Great Falls after residents voiced concerns that others might be unsafe.

Bob Eichinger of Great Falls says there are plenty of trees that pose hazards in the area.

“The only thing that concerns me is that it has taken so long. I’m not happy. I don’t like to see the trees go, but from the standpoint that it could hurt somebody, yeah, it’s time for them to go,” he says.

The trees are along VDOT’s right-of-way on the following roads:

  • River Bend Road – 25 trees
  • Browns Mill Road (west of Difficult Run) – 15 trees
  • Beach Mill Road – 7 trees
  • Georgetown Pike – 6 trees
  • Walker Road – 4 trees
  • Utterback Store Road – 2 trees

It’s expected the tree removal will take three weeks.

Two white oaks at the corner of Georgetown Pike and Walker Road are not considered unsafe and won’t be removed.

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WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this story. Follow Adam and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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