Needed for Safety! Motorists who drive along road-ways throughout this beautiful land of 10,000 lakes have likely seen contractors like us, or public works crews busy trimming or removing trees that border roads. Tree removal and trimming is a common work element on county road construction projects. It provides the necessary clear space to accommodate turn lane construction, make drainage improvements, install roadway signage/signals, and construct or modify pedestrian facilities. Sometimes tree removal or trimming takes place when no road construction projects are underway which can lead to questions about why this work is even being conducted.

There are several reasons MN Counties strive to keep the road right-of-way clear and clean, but their primary reason is for the safety of roadway users. When trees are in the right-of-way and too close to the roadside, they create dangerous obstacles for drivers if they lose control of their vehicles. That is where we come in. A wider ditch, free of trees, is far safer than one that has large established vegetation.

Minnesotans also likely realize how abundantand active wildlife is here. I recently learned that in Anoka County alone there were 100 total crashes involving deer as reported two years ago by the MN Office of Traffic Safety. That is just in a single county. Having better sight lines along roadways due to the removal or trimming of trees reduces the chance of motorists colliding with deer and other animals because they can see them sooner. Tree removal and trimming also makes roadways safer in the winter. Roadways that are less shaded from trees thaw faster than ones that are sheltered from the sun. According to the National Weather Service, the average icy road fatality count is 3.6 times the total deaths from all other weather hazards combined.