Virginia removes trees that pose risk to motorists

Authorities cutting down trees Tuesday. (Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

The buzzing of chainsaws. It’s the sound that will be heard throughout Great Falls for nearly a month as dozens of trees are taken down.

Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation started removing nearly 60 trees that could pose a safety risk to motorists.

Last month, a 64-year-old motorist was killed when a 40-ton Oak fell on his car as he was driving on Georgetown Pike.

The 150-year-old tree was dead. According to arborists, it had root rot.

After that fatality, Fairfax County and VDOT inspected dozens of trees to see if they needed to be cut down.

“Just as any tree in your neighborhood or your yard may die and it becomes time for it to come down, that's the case with a lot of these trees,” says Jennifer McCord of VDOT. “All of the trees that our arborist confirmed have to come down were either in serious decline or dying or dead.”

The trees will be removed from the state right of way on six roads. The majority will be removed from river bend road.

“I understand the concern after the tree fell up here but I don't think that they're looking at the health of the trees as much as possibly the safety of VDOT,” says Great Falls resident Harrell Little.