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Montreal-area tree service companies working overtime to keep up with demand

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In the aftermath of the Quebec ice storm on Wednesday and Thursday, tree service companies are struggling to keep up with the volume of calls they're getting.

The storm brought down trees and power lines, crushed cars and led some to some close calls.

"I started hearing a crack, I looked up, [and] it was falling down, and then I ran for my life," said Westmount resident Federico Panti.

Branches were hanging and not coming down so the company Arbocare took the call.

They and many other tree service companies have been pushed into overdrive after the storm.

Their first priority: fixing dangerous situations.

"Until everything is cleaned up, still a lot of branches that have snapped and are still up in the trees," said Christopher Honos of Arbocare. "Until everything is cleaned up, I'd be careful walking underneath trees for the time being."

The process, Honos said, takes a while.

"Next step, taking care of everything on the ground, and then, trimming stubs to where branches snapped off," he said. "They're going to need a lot of manpower to get that done in a timely manner."

The work will require a lot of hands and help.

Arnaud Mermoz came from the South Shore to help.

"They're in need of help here," he said. "It's a disaster, complete disaster."

Honos said he's never seen anything of the magnitude of this week's storm. He hopes it will teach homeowners the importance of having trees near or above their homes inspected every few years.

Fallen trees are an issue across the Island of Montreal as well as Laval. The city is asking residents to avoid parks with lots of trees and has even closed some, including Mount Royal.

The city says it has more than 500 crews dealing with the situation non-stop.

"We will work in most of the boroughs, 24 hours a day during the weekend," said Philippe Sabourin of the City of Montreal. 

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