From the Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Leyland cypress trees outside Diane and Ted Clark’s Fredericksburg home provided a nice privacy fence.

But the trees proved no match for the Feb. 5-6 storm, the second one this winter that dumped more than a foot of snow on the region.

The storm knocked down at least six of the Clarks’ cypress trees in addition to some big branches at their Dandridge Street home. The privacy fence is no more.

“They just all came down,” Diane Clark said. “We have a clear vision now.”

The Clarks will be calling in professional landscapers to repair the damage come springtime. And they could have plenty of company.

“I definitely think it will be a good spring,” said Kelly Sullivan, co-owner of Ground Keepers of Olde Towne Fredericksburg.

Sam Wells, who manages ValleyCrest Landscape Co.’s branch in Spotsylvania County, isn’t so sure. He said there will definitely be damage repairs, but he thinks all the money that has been spent on snow removal will leave less cash for landscaping extras. He also noted that the economy remains fairly weak, and that landscaping is one easy thing to cut.

“People have already spent so much of their budgets on snow,” Wells said.

Wells did point out that landscapers have done much of the snow removal work, and that has provided a short-term boost. He thinks contractors who repair roads and sidewalks will get more work after the snow melts.

Tree removal companies in the Fredericksburg area report that they’ve been slammed with calls as people ask for service getting fallen limbs off their lawns, streets or roofs.

Rob Allen, local manager for Bartlett Tree Experts, thinks this will be the company’s busiest spring in a few years, due to the harsh winter and people having put off projects for two years because of the economy.

Read it all here.

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