It’s been a winter to remember for us here in New England.

Rachel Madison watches the forecast very closely whenever a storm is on its way. And when her Southbridge home is in the danger zone, she gets worried – for good reason.

“Bang! That’s the only way I can explain it. And then the next morning, I saw the branches hanging over when I put the shade up,” she explained.

Rachel says a violent windstorm this past June caused nearly $10,000 worth of damage to her home when branches from her neighbor’s tree crashed down onto her roof.

She say says she tried to reach out to her neighbors.

Retired and on a fixed income, Rachel says she couldn’t afford the more than $1,000 it would cost to trim the tree. So, she went out on a limb and called Solve It 7.

And we branched out to try and find a solution.

Robert Harnais is the president-elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and we asked him if your property line extends into the air. “For the extent of tree limbs, yes it does. If you have a neighbor who has a tree whose limbs are coming on your property, you have the right to cut those limbs,” Harnais said.

We found someone who could help.

Bernie Gauthier owns BR Tree Service. He says parts of the tree were decaying, including the section over Rachel’s house. He and his team extended a branch of kindness and fixed the problem for free.

“And there it goes!” Rachel said as she watched the limbs fall.

After a few hours, most of the troubling tree limbs over Rachel’s house were gone, which put a smile on her face.

We asked Gauthier what made him want to get involved here. He said, “[It] seemed to be the right thing to do…We had the opportunity to make a couple people’s lives a litter easier, it worked out.”

Rachel says “It kind of restores people faith in what people can do. You see a lot of bad going on all the time, but to see something nice and to see something good happen it, it gives you a good feeling inside.”

Now Rachel can watch the 7News forecast without any added worry.

“Thank you very much. You’ve done a wonderful job for helping me. Thank you. I can’t express that enough,” Rachel said.

Are you stumped and have an issue you need help with? Give us a call at 617-367-7777 or send us an email at

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