Partnership aims to tackle dead trees

Published 12:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

ZETUS — A private tree service company will work to alleviate potential safety issues along Lincoln County roads. The partnership will be in District 5 where drought and pine mortality was at its harshest in 2023. 

Cliburn Woodwork LLC shared the news in an announcement on Facebook Thursday afternoon. The company will work with District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey to remove standing dead timber along roadways. 

Crews will start the work on Zetus Road. The plan is to remove standing dead timber which poses a liability to the community along roadways. Cliburn is owned and operated by Matthew Cliburn who is licensed, bonded and insured to safely remove trees. He is a native of Wesson and lives in Lincoln County now. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We will work in the right of way or anything that hangs over the road or could fall into the road,” Cliburn said. “We will cut anything that will cause danger in the future and we are being proactive.” 

He said they were working Friday morning to proactively mark trees and mark any questionable trees for Falvey to give his opinion on. Right now, the plan is for the company to do four days of work per month on Zetus and other roads in the county. 

Cliburn said the tree mortality is terrible along Zetus like it is across the county. The biggest hurdles are working with landowners and dealing with traffic along the roads. 

In a post on Facebook Thursday, Cliburn asked for help from landowners for areas they could park equipment safely and haul off debris. He said the community response to the post has been great. 

The company will work down main roads first before branching off down other county roads. Tree mortality is spread out between pines and hardwoods following the drought and beetle outbreak last summer. Cliburn said the evergreens were obvious in the winter but now people are starting to see more hardwoods which died from the drought. 

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith introduced Senate Bill 3838 in February to the US Congress to provide relief for private landowners dealing with the effects of the pine beetle outbreak. One of the key parts of the bill would cover 85 percent cost share for removal of dead trees. 

The bill has not progressed out of the committee for Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. 

“We need to get this passed,” Cliburn said.