Heavy snow downs trees across west metro area

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- The weight of winter weather bore down on spring blossomed trees Sunday.

“Mostly a lot of the fruit trees and the early foliated trees have taken a lot of damage,” said Zuber, owner of Environmental Tree Care.

Across west metro Denver, damage to trees could be seen on nearly every block.  Damage which also effected personal property.  A truck in Wheat Ridge suffered damage when a tree uprooted landing on the truck’s roof like a prop.

“This tree has been here, probably 30, 40 years,” neighbor Alette Gramling said.

In Lakewood, a car and a house were no match for a cottonwood.

“See the branch that's on the ground.  I bet you that's resting on the car,” Jenna Dinnell said to her young daughter who walked a block down from their house to see the damage.

Dinnell questions just how much moisture from the weekend storm built up, bringing the century-old tree crashing down.

“To uproot a tree, I didn’t think it could do that.  I mean that's completely uprooted from the ground.  That's just, that's crazy,” Dinnell said.

“It's a live, big, wet cottonwood,” Zuber said.

With the home serving as a landing pad for the snow soaked branches, officials told the homeowners it was too dangerous to enter until the tree was removed.

“I still think it could have been a lot worse,” Dinnell said.

Piece by piece, arborist Ken Zuber and his crew hacked away at the massive pieces of wood while a crane company hauled the bulk of the weight off the brick and mortar.

“The tree should weigh a good 20,000 pounds at least for sure,” Zuber said. “They are going to have to fix their roof, fix their gutters.  It damaged their car really good, so it's done quite a bit of damage."

Watching the work, Dinnell said to her young daughter, “They are touching the ground, they’re sad,” she said of the drooping branches and trees hanging to the ground.

The sagging sadness is only temporary as the melting has already begun.

“It's crazy but not unexpected in Colorado,“ Gramling said.

Auber said it's important to have trees pruned to try to prevent damage like this happening during the spring storms.

For now, he said try to shake some of that heavy moisture off the branches and trees to relieve some of the weight that's bearing down on the blossoming trees.