Pine tree leaning toward disaster - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pine tree leaning toward disaster

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY (WRCB) - A Catoosa County man has been going around in circles the past few months trying to get rid of a problem across the street from his home in Ringgold. 

From his porch, Raymond Sipe has enjoyed a spectacular view of an old 80 foot pine for several years.  However, lately the tree has struck a menacing pose. 

"It's leaning over here," said Sipe.  "Here" is toward the road and his house.

Since the tree is on county property, he called officials to take a look. 

Commissioner Dewayne Hill arrived shortly after the call to inspect and he agreed the tree needed to go. 

"It was leaning and could be a hazard should it fall, you know, not knowing the strength of the tree," said Hill. 

A powerful winter snow or ice storm could send it straight down to the ground.

Cutting the towering pine completely down would be a risky job, due to nearby power lines.  So County Manager Mike Helton sent out a crew to cut off branches in an effort to reduce the tree's weight.  Unfortunately, the bucket on the county truck could not reach the highest branches and the tree became top heavy. 

The county needed an assist from North Georgia Electric.

"They passed the word to the county that they would take care of cutting the tree down due to the fact that it was around the power lines," explained Hill.

However, Sipe kept getting the run-around.  The county did all it could at this point and, according to Sipe, North Georgia Electric said it wouldn't cut down the tree because it wasn't dead.  It seemed no one else could go out on a limb to help Sipe who only wanted to get rid of the pine because it posed a threat.

"I don't go around trying to cut trees down cause I ain't got nothing better to do," said Sipe.

Luckily, just a short time after Sipe and Hill spoke with Channel 3, Catoosa County must have received the "okay" to cut down the tree.  A suitable apparatus was found to do the job and county workers took down the tree, sawing off sections at a time.  The logs lie on the side of the road, but county workers will hopefully haul them away in the coming days.

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