, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 15, 2013

The 'Ax Men' cometh

Reality TV show rids Amesbury family of dangerous tree

AMESBURY — An Amesbury family will be featured in the first episode of “Urban Ax Men” — a new reality show set to debut this summer on the National Geographic Channel.

The new show will follow a team of tree cutters as they go into suburban neighborhoods around the country to help residents cut down trees that pose a hazard to the home and family. One of the show’s producers was reportedly involved with “Deadliest Catch,” and many of the cameramen have worked on shows like “Survivor.”

Yesterday, the tree cutters and a whole production crew were in town to film the removal of a 100-foot white pine tree from the front yard of Andrew Ghezzi’s residence at 14 Unicorn Circle.

Ghezzi said the targeted tree had been dropping big limbs and was starting to scare his two kids.

“Two weeks ago, we had the snowstorm and my daughter was like, ‘I don’t want to go out and play, Dad, it’s too dangerous out there,’” Ghezzi said. “That’s when I got on the phone and started calling all of these tree companies.”

The family’s anxiety around the tree wasn’t without good reason. Roughly eight years ago, Ghezzi’s son, Ryan, who was 2 at the time, was nearly killed after an old maple tree in their yard snapped, fell and landed on his head.

“We were walking and it happened randomly,” Ghezzi said, adding that many trees in the area had been weakened not long before by a big windstorm. “It was like a ticking time bomb.”

Ryan suffered multiple skull fractures, hemorrhaging and was clinically dead for a period of time, his father said. He was in the intensive care unit for a while, but eventually made a full recovery.

Ghezzi quickly had what was left of the maple tree removed. But recently, the big white pine tree started to become a problem, too. Every time a limb fell, it was like a “cascade of hell,” Ghezzi said, and on one occasion, a giant branch fell and crushed his Ford F-150, which was parked in the driveway a good 30 or 40 feet away from the trunk.

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