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Old 04-07-2010, 06:50 PM
 
5,019 posts, read 9,230,740 times
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{{{Awkward}}} as they say.

Has anyone else done this? It's awkward because they really are a monopoly and we have to stay with them (give them our MONEY) even though we disagree with their practices (on many levels) and would love love love to use someone else.

In our case it's the power company and they basically killed/butchered multiple trees on our property this morning. Yes, I know they have the "right" to trim harmful growth away from the power lines.....BUT we hire a licensed arborist/tree company to do our pruning every year. And we have the ($$$) receipts to prove it. The arborist will be out in the next day or two to assess the damage and give us a dollar estimate.

We ~hope~ we can negotiate with the power co.'s insurance company for a happy resolution before hitting the courts.

Any one else been through this?

Stuff like this reminds me why some of you have decided to get outta dodge and go "off the grid".

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,443 posts, read 17,985,044 times
Reputation: 15560
Progress Energy did the same thing in our area, in a PUBLIC PARK!!!!!!!!!
It has caused a huge brouhaha here, the city is considering suing...will keep you posted.
They outright cut down over 20 trees, and mutilated quite a few others.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:22 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,395,317 times
Reputation: 1890
Good luck, you will need it.
I had literally gotten out of the hospital after major surgery a day before they came to butcher my trees. When they got to my yard, I literally boiled out of my bed and went to fight them. I had a copy of my survey (you will need it) and a copy of the power company's policies. They had a 5 ft. aerial easement at the back of my property (clearly marked on my survey). The tree cutters were trying to make their life easier and follow company policy by cutting back more than was normal. The cutters were intending to go back to the trunk of my Pecan tree (which was a full 15 ft from the easement and was full of pecans) and cut there. Here is where the survey came in handy. I told them they could cut their 5 ft and not an inch beyond. They asked me how were they supposed to reach that and do that...I responded that it was not my problem but that a law suit would follow if they went one inch beyond. They gave it up for a bad deal, cut my oak tree which was clearly in their easement and left. I also have my trees professionally cut every other year and keep the pecan out of the easement and away from the lines. Needless to say, they butchered my neighbor's trees.

You really cannot win this if they cut only parts of the tree within their easement, they are fair game for a law suit if they cut beyond the easement. You can also win if they damage the tree so badly it falls on your house. This happened to my friend's neighbor when the power company was clearing lines after Hurricane Ike.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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You can always have themj remve the lines that service your property on your land.I really doubt the power company is going to settle ;so have at a suit.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
8,509 posts, read 12,655,100 times
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Power companies are doing this nationally in response to a federal law passed a few years ago that required them to take steps to mitigate the possibility of storm damage to transmission lines. Many of the companies have read that to require that they cut down trees (or drastically prune them). It's been the subject of dispute in many communities.

I can understand your pain, but I think your chances of a successful lawsuit on this are about zero if the trees are within the power company's easement. I'll be interested to hear if you get anywhere with it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:20 AM
 
8,591 posts, read 9,967,988 times
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Can you sue them? Probably not if they trimmed them with in the guide lines of trimming....

It happened to me too....I know how you feel...
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,518 posts, read 3,336,921 times
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We have been pretty lucky in this respect. We only have one tree anywhere near the power lines and they usually do a decent job. My neighbor however had a maple a bit closer than it probably should be and one year they actually took away half of the tree....just left the trunk and the top half that was closest to the house. It looks horrible. Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:45 AM
 
1,164 posts, read 2,386,919 times
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Wow plaid i'm really sorry about this

But i'm totally confused by (first time homeowner) what is the power companies easement??

I have a tree right in front of my house that is all sorts of mixed up in the power lines. There is one huge branch that is literally 2 inches off the power line, can I ask the power company to come and remove it? I know they've seen it because we had a couple of storms this winter and I had to cal them and have them remove a few branches that acutally fell on the line but they didn't cut any extra at all. Also they just left the branches on the ground in the front yard is this normal? This tree is way older than the invention of electricity so I'm surprised that they chose to run the line to the house right next to that thing. The tree is dead and I want to cut it down but because of all the power lines (and some other crazy factors) all the tree companies want to charge me thousands of dollars I don't have at the moment, but i'm sure that if I could get the power company to get rid of the riskiest branches the quotes would go down...
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:52 AM
 
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,153 posts, read 6,708,598 times
Reputation: 3302
Quote:
Originally Posted by icibiu View Post
Wow plaid i'm really sorry about this

But i'm totally confused by (first time homeowner) what is the power companies easement??

I have a tree right in front of my house that is all sorts of mixed up in the power lines. There is one huge branch that is literally 2 inches off the power line, can I ask the power company to come and remove it? I know they've seen it because we had a couple of storms this winter and I had to cal them and have them remove a few branches that acutally fell on the line but they didn't cut any extra at all. Also they just left the branches on the ground in the front yard is this normal? This tree is way older than the invention of electricity so I'm surprised that they chose to run the line to the house right next to that thing. The tree is dead and I want to cut it down but because of all the power lines (and some other crazy factors) all the tree companies want to charge me thousands of dollars I don't have at the moment, but i'm sure that if I could get the power company to get rid of the riskiest branches the quotes would go down...
Hire a real licensed arborist to prune your trees. DO NOT call the power company or they will do horrible things to your trees. Taking out the dead tree by an arborist sans a few branches isn't really going to make it that much cheaper, it really is the cutting down the tree itself, (and insuring that it doesn't land on your house, etc) and the cutting up and removal of the tree that is the more expensive part of it all. Stump grinding is yet another cost.

Plaid, I'm so sorry. That sucks, but I don't know if suing your power company will get you anywhere but more annoyed, and out of cash....
If I were you, I'd save up the funds for a solar power system, so that when you get excess power you can sell it back to the bastards, instead of having to pay them!
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:12 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 9,230,740 times
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Thanks for all the good wishes.

First step: the arborist. I've done some research and what one needs is an ISA-certified consulting arborist who can assess the value of the trees in question in dollar amounts. They'll be here later this afternoon. They are also going to bring all copies of our receipts showing that we have already paid to have our trees properly pruned and maintained.

Once we've determined the extent of the damage, we can decide how to proceed. From what I understand our next step will be to file a claim with the utility co.'s insurance company. If they are good corporate citizens they should be happy to pay their bills, right ? It would be a win-win if we could avoid the court system altogether.

Will keep you posted.
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