The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 7, 2013

Tree-trimming was unnecessary, says Conneaut resident

CONNEAUT — A Lake Erie Street man is livid over tree-trimming work done by a company hired by FirstEnergy.

Mike Allshouse, 766 Lake Erie St., says trimmers cut a big chunk, unnecessarily, out of an ornamental, decade-old Crimson King maple tree on his property in late May. The work was done in late May, while the family was away on a trip.

An angry Allshouse complained and was told the tree was poised to grow into nearby power lines. Allshouse, who disputes that claim, nonetheless says he has carefully trimmed the tree over the to avoid the need for tree-trimmers.

“It’s a decorative tree, and I want to keep that decorative shape,” he said. “I put in a special request to not touch the trees. They hadn’t touched them in the past. I said I would handle those trees and please leave them alone.”

Bad timing, however, apparently scuttled those plans. In early May, Allshouse said he received a notice that trimmers anticipated being in his neighborhood in early June. That was fine, Allshouse said, since he would be home to intercept the trimmers and steer them away. Instead, the crew arrived days early when the house was empty.

A forester with FirstEnergy and a representative of the trimming company came to the house after the work was done and told Allshouse the utility company possesses easements that allows them to trim vegetation that poses a threat to electric lines. They couldn’t answer questions how far off the road workers can saw and buzz, Allshouse said. The men also told Allshouse while the tree may not yet have intruded on the wires, it would eventually become a problem, he said.

“The tree was nowhere near the wires,” he said. “Where’s the common sense here?”

Mark Durbin, spokesman for FirstEnergy, defended the work, saying the crews are “trained professionals” in the technique of directional pruning. Generally, crews find the biggest limb next to the trunk and “cut it there,” he said.

Durbin also emphasized crews know the limitations when it comes to property lines. “We have an easement, and we don’t go beyond the easement,” he said.

Tree-trimming can be a “very emotional issue,” Durbin said, but is absolutely necessary to minimize power outages.

“We need to strike a balance between the rehabilitation of the system and the look of the trees,” he said. “We do what we do to maintain the reliability of those wires.”

Exceptions can’t be made for specialty trees like the ones Allshouse is growing, Durbin said.

“We really can’t take that chance,” he said. “If there’s potentially a problem, we will side with (the tree company).”

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza