Bruce Marienfeld got the call Thursday night.
With Hurricane Irene threatening to bring 60 mile-per-hour winds and up to 10 inches of rain to the East End, Anton Hagen asked Marionfeld to prune the overgrown tree in the far corner of his yard; its branches were draped over the sidewalk, forming a relative canopy along the footpath over the bridge that separates Otter Pond from Upper Sag Harbor Cove.
“The storm knows no mercy and has no prejudice” when it comes to trees, Marienfeld said on Friday afternoon while holding a set of shears the length of his arm. Pointing to the precarious position of this particular perennial, the tree-trimmer noted the slope of the soil along the bank of the low-flowing waterway, where the tree dug its roots. With an excess of branches and rains likely to loosen the soil around its base, Marienfeld said this tree was definitely in need of care.
“I probably halved the amount of weight that was on here,” he said. In all, Marienfeld removed seven branches, which amounted to about two yards of debris.
The arborist said he had two more jobs in Sag Harbor after he finished securing the Hagens’ tree, but for these he would be cleaning gutters before the storm. He had previously trimmed about three trees prior to this one Friday, but said the real work will come after Irene is expected to have blown through the East End.
“I’ve had about 15 people already call and ask to be put first on the list on Monday,” he said. He predicts he’ll have his work cut-out for him; but, fortunately, he added, “I work quick!”