Experts urge caution after falling tree limb kills business owne - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Experts urge caution after falling tree limb kills business owner

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GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Family and friends are morning the loss of a local business owner, killed by a falling tree limb.

Joe Ratchford, 63, was hit in the head by a large branch Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Now, experts are urging caution, after severe storms damaged trees throughout the Carolinas.

Tate Way is a certified Arborist with AAA Tree Experts. He does most of his work in the trees, where even the smallest mistake can cost you your life.

"We are very mindful about how we are doing our jobs; what we are using, the equipment, how we are protecting ourselves as well as those about us," Way said. 

 Way tells WBTV homeowners are often times injured by underestimating how unpredictable falling branches can be. And chainsaws, Way said, should never be used while standing on a ladder.

It takes the proper equipment and knowledge to get the job done properly and safely.

"We have experience and education on our side. I think often times, you know, it's easy to think it is simpler than it is I guess," Way said.

Way said homeowners should also be proactive in preventing tree damage.   

Try to prevent big problems, and if something doesn't look right you should call for an evaluation.

"Evaluations are free with many companies, and you can often get tree risk assessment for a nominal fee."

Way said it is also important to be mindful of power lines.

Way tells WBTV a homeowner was recently killed when the equipment he was using came in contact with a power line.

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