Dec 31, 2008

The Tree Men Episode

As evidenced in a past post about a controversy with my neighbor over cutting trees down on my property without permission (he didn't -- but he would have if I hadn't been home to catch him), I do not like people cutting down my trees. Period. If you want to elevate my blood pressure, send me skitting across my yard ranting and raving and waving my hands in the air, the simplest way to accomplish this is to walk across my yard with a chainsaw in hand. I *do* understand, however, why the power company (Duke Energy) needs to cut branches away from the power lines. Every five years or so they drive in with their big trucks and their crews armed with chainsaws, hard hats and orange vests, and they butcher my trees. Although it pains me to the core, I understand it... I look the other way, turn the radio up, and ignore them. Until yesterday... I won't go into the unnecessary cutting of ENTIRE TREES when 9/10ths of the tree was growing AWAY from the power lines. (Sob) I won't embarrass myself by telling you that I was, indeed, in my yard flailing my arms around trying to get one idiot's tree cutter's attention before he completely destroyed one of the few full shade trees we have on the south side of the yard. What was once a 30 foot beauty is now a 12 foot stump. And suffice to say he completely ignored me and destroyed the tree anyway. MY tree. Now MY ridiculous, branchless 12 foot stump. In the back of our yard, we have a creek. If you're from New England, it's called a stream. In Ohio, it's a creek. The creek is not much more than a foot deep in it's deepest spots, but does have some wonderful little rock-formed waterfalls that make pleasant little creek-like sounds. So we built a little sitting area next to the creek, complete with a little deck and benches. From the deck there is about a 9 or 10 foot drop down to the creek. It's not so pretty in the winter months, but in the Spring, Summer and Fall when the leaves are lush and green, it is a rather nice, peaceful place to sit and read a book or watch Brayden throw rocks in the water. Now my restful little place looks like this: If you look in the far right hand corner of the deck, follow that tree up -- see? No branches left anywhere. It's a 12 foot stump. That group of neanderthals tree trimmers pulled the benches off the deck, then proceeded to butcher my trees, letting everything land in the creek and on my deck... and left it there. The branches you see on the deck are the entire top of the tree that used to stand to the right of the deck. Branches and trees fill the entire space from the deck across the entire creek.. a distance of about 15 to 20 feet. I'm not a happy camper today. It was a bit of relief to hear from two other neighbors that they are not happy campers either. Both are complaining about trees taken down that were not in any way growing towards the power lines. They, however, did get the trees that were cut cleaned up. My To Do List for today looks like this: 1. Call Duke Energy. Duke Energy's Tree Trimming Class Update: I called, they came back, the trees and limbs are gone (oh, and they cut down a few more while they were here just for giggles and grins, I guess), though the benches remain in the yard. That's OK, I can put the benches back myself.


Karen said...

I'm so sad for you!! There's no way to get that tree back now! And your quiet little place of rest will never be the same again. I would certainly call the power company and kick some %$*. Is there any way you can make them pay compensation??

The Calico Quilter said...

It's hard to see them cut on , but trees are amazingly resiliant. Have an arborist shape it up and in a couple of years it will rebound and be fine. Having worked for a utility (in the power production end, not power distribution) I can say that without diligence in air surveys of power line right of ways and trimming when necessary, you would see a lot more outages during storms due to downed branches. Duke Power was too zealous in the other direction (not usual, believe me) and certainly could have handled customer relations better, but trimming is indeed necessary (large-scale logging is not!). Is this a main distribution power line or a drop to the residential area? I had the same problem with a pine in my side yard which was kept trimmed into a half-tree by the local power company. Literally - branches on one side only. I eventually cut it down to avoid interfering with the power line branch that went up the back property line.