Friday, January 8, 2010

Power Lines and Tree Trimming in Grand Blanc Township

First off let me just say, I understand the need for the trees to be trimmed to keep the current, cable, and telephone flowing uninterrupted. But there is absolutely no need to needlessly cut down large trees nor to trim large trees so that their structural integrity is compromised with an end result being a large dead tree.

Our energy provider is Consumers Energy and they are currently trimming trees around the power lines in our area. We knew this was coming because we received a letter about six months ago stating that they would be marking trees for removal and trimming. Four months ago they marked the trees. No problem either, the trees marked were the ones I thought should be trimmed or removed.

As a matter of fact, I was disappointed that they were just trimming an elm tree that was completely tangled around a utility pole and into the wires. I was ecstatic that they were going to remove several dead ash trees because we were planning on hiring Precision Tree Care to come back and cut them down. So this saved us a minimum of $250 a tree. Last year we paid $250 to have a dead elm cut down that was under the power lines and would have been removed this week.

The tree trimming company that was subcontracted to take care of tree trimming is Davey Tree Trimming. They have an arborist who marks the trees and oversees the trimming. Two days ago Davey Tree Trimming shows up and proceeds to trim a very large old pine that was not marked for trimming. They not only trim it but they over trim it. Conifers do not grow like deciduous trees. This tree had been trimmed about 8 years ago and had not grown back even an inch into the precious 10 feet zone. They broke interior branches by stepping on smaller limbs for support and they dropped the cut branches on my small rhododendrons.

My husband arrives home just as they finish the trimming on the pine. He asked them why they trimmed a tree that was not marked. The trimmer replied, "I'll cut it to the ground if I want to." When R tells me this I shoot a quick email to the Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Micki Hoffman. FYI....three days later I am still waiting for a reply. I then called the arborist who tells me that they should not have trimmed a tree that he had not marked and that "no, they do not have the authority to cut down a tree if he felt like it."

The next day the remaining trimming is completed under our constant watch. They were not happy with us standing around watching them. They prefer to hack and whack rather than trim as they were being forced to do.

R estimates we have at least a week's worth of clean up to do in the spring. He spent yesterday hauling wood away. If we were an elderly couple we would have had to hire this work done. Consumers Energy states that the wood would be cut into manageable pieces and stacked. Does this look like manageable pieces and stacked? R used his chainsaw to cut the large trunks into somewhat manageable pieces. Some were so big that he had to just drag the trunk pieces with a chain behind the lawn tractor to get them to the wood pile. This took at least 5-6 hours and was back breaking heavy work in 21 degree weather.
In the backyard we have a very large yew bush. Above the yew was a black walnut tree that needed to be trimmed. The trimmers hacked and whacked and dropped large chunks of limbs into the yew bush. The entire center of the bush is destroyed.The trimmers stepped on my hydrangeas and dragged their feet through all my hostas. They hit my fruit trees with the brush they were moving from the backyard to the front yard so it could be shredded. I just kept telling myself the damage would have been worse if we were not standing there watching their every move.

I will also have to wait until the snow melts to check for damage to our asphalt driveway. While they were removing the dead trees near our driveway I noticed that they were dropping the large limbs, cut end first from the cherry picker onto our driveway. I am hoping that we do not have any gouge marks on our driveway since we just spent $2300 having it sealed last summer.
I's two steps step back. I am just glad it snowed last night so now the mess is covered up and I don't have to look at it.


  1. Oh my gosh, that's terrible! They should be more careful. I hope you don't have any damage to the driveway, and hopefully the bushes and other landscaping isn't damaged too much.

  2. I can totally relate with what your going through. About 10 years ago at the house we had on the lake the tree trimmers came and over cut a 50 year old tree we had in our front yard. They cut the hole center out of it. Not only that they must have drove their truck on the end of our cement drive and cracked it all the way across the end of it (24ft). Try and prove they did it. It was our word against theirs because we were not home when they did this. I was so mad I cried, and really thought I was going to have a stoke. End of story we had to pay to have the tree cut down. Also, drive over the cracked driveway everyday as a reminder.

  3. OMG! I feel so bad for you!

    What IS IT with these companies?! We've had the same problem here with tree trimmers & FINALLY (after 4 years of fighting) homeowners got a reprieve.

    I know it can't repair the damage they've done, but it might prevent more damage in the future.

  4. This reminds me of the contractors that we dealt with for the last part of the summer into the fall. The jury is still out as to whether the roses and other plants will survive. All I can do is hope and wait.

    It amazes me how impolite people are, and especially these days with everyone's job on the line.

  5. The snow is melting and I can see the mess again. I also forgot to mention that while hauling wood to the wood pile, the tire blew on the lawn tractor. Just blew a hole right through the side wall. So R had to take the wheel off the lawn trailer and take it to his racing sponsor (a tire store) They sold him one for cost. So now we can add the cost of a tire to the fiasco.


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