The California Department of Transportation and its contractors are deploying a new tool to safely speed up the removal of dead, dying, and diseased trees throughout the state: Telescoping grappling saws.

[Photo courtesy of the California Department of Transportation.]

The agency said in a statement that such saws allow its crews and contractors to take trees down at a faster pace than traditional tree removal processes; completing that process with greater safety from the ground via remote control, well outside the fall zone for trees being removed.