Charlottesville tree company celebrates Arbor Day by helping community in need

Updated: Apr. 24, 2020 at 5:19 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Coronavirus has forced people around the world to celebrate holidays differently, and Arbor Day is no exception. While a normal year would see the day marked with events like tree planting, this year that is not the case. So, one tree company in Charlottesville chose to spend the day helping a community in need with more than its share of trees.

Van Yahres Tree Company spent several hours removing dead pine trees near the entrance of the Southwood Mobile Home Park. The trees threatened to fall into the road, and potentially onto cars.

“We felt a responsibility to do what we can to try to give back in some way,” Van Yahres Tree Company Co-owner Jake Van Yahres said. "Southwood is a community that we’ve actually been serving and looking after the trees for years.”

The mobile home park is nestled in an area of thousands of lush trees, many of which are older than the community itself. That’s part of why the neighborhood was the perfect place to give back.

“Southwood is a neighborhood that is surrounded in all of these legacy, beautiful historic trees,” Van Yahres Tree Company Co-owner Shana Clark said. "Some of them, unfortunately, require essential tree care.”

Jake and Shana both recently acquired the company from their parents, keeping it in the Van Yahres family into the fourth generation. Doing things like taking care of these trees is all part of giving back to the community that has given their family so much over the company’s 101 years.

“This is important, and it needs to it this stuff needs to be done,” Van Yahres said. "So, if we can donate our time and do it, then it’s our responsibility to do so.”

The company notes that getting outdoors is a proven natural mood booster, and looking after your own trees is both a good way to get outside and an important task even during the pandemic. Removing hazardous branches or trees that are at risk of falling are both still good ways to keep your home, car, or other property safe.

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