OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR)- Tree trimmers hired by OG&E have left property owners confused and frustrated.
Del City homeowner, Glenn Hatfield experienced a power outage on June 10.
OG&E was able to repair the transmitter and the lights were back on by 5:30 p.m., according to Hatfield.
As OG&E was packing up though, Hatfield noticed tree limbs that took up half of his yard and extended to the side of his property.
Hatfield told KFOR the tree limbs on his property aren’t even his, that they were mainly dragged over his backyard fence from his neighbor’s property.
“It’s just real frustrating and to look out, you know, and see this. I’m not real happy, to be honest with you. I’m not happy at all,” said Hatfield.
Hatfield has called OG&E’s customer service line twice, once that Friday and another the following Wednesday. “I can’t get a hold of anybody to even, you know, discuss this seriously. Customer service, they just take your information and put in a work order.”
Hatfield has even tried going to the OG&E office located in Oklahoma City, but said he was turned away and recommended to their customer service line once more.
Two work orders have since been put in, but Hatfield said OG&E claims it could take up to 20 days for the brush to be removed.
Now, almost a week after the tree limbs were set on his property, Hatfield has overgrown grass and minor damage to his home.
Hatfield has not been able to hire his usual landscaper to mow his lawn as the business has told him they’d prefer to provide their services once the tree limbs have been removed.
Hatfield said he is unable to move the tree limbs by himself nor does he have the money to afford removal. He feels like there is no other option though as he feels his questions have gone unanswered.
In Oklahoma City, Shapard Research owner, Bill Shapard told KFOR he too is frustrated with the tree trimming service OG&E has authorized.
Instead of tree limbs being left behind though, his Maple tree of 40 years was butchered.
Shapard has owned his business for over 15 years and said this is not his first time working with OG&E, but that this year was different in that OG&E didn’t trim limbs, they trimmed an entire side of the tree.
Shapard said he understands if his tree was posing a threat to the power lines in front of his business, but he feels singled out as there are trees next to his business and across the street that have grown around the power lines, yet those weren’t trimmed down at all.
Shapard did get an opportunity to speak with someone from OG&E in which he said they told him there’s a “new standard” in place requiring them to cut his tree like they did.
When Shapard asked what the new standard was, he said no one could give anything in a written format let alone explain to him what it is.
Shapard also asked if the trees on his street would also be cut down, but he was told they “might be” at a later date. “I would think with $7 diesel gas and a tree truck coming down the street, you’d cut everything on one particular street, which makes more sense to me. I mean, I think they need to explain why on a work order would they come cut this tree and then leave? Why is it that they could have cut the one that’s 50 yards that way?”
Although upset with how much of his tree was cut while others are still intact, he said he’ll continue to water it everyday in hopes of it coming back.
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Both property owners though have asked OG&E the same question of ‘why me?,’ but say they’re left with even more questions.
KFOR reached out to OG&E looking for those answers.
OG&E stated they are aware of the two complaints and are working to resolve them as quickly as possible. The power company did send a statement regarding each complaint in which you can read below.
In response to the business owner:
OG&E prunes and removes trees on a 4-year schedule with certified line-clearance arborists to control the estimated 2.3 million trees growing near overhead power lines throughout our service area. Trees that grow into OG&E power lines can cause outages, create safety hazards and drain electricity off the electric grid. Tall trees, such as maple, should not be planted within 50 feet of an overhead electric line, as they are fast growing and grow to large heights. In most cases, we prune between 10 feet and 14 feet from the electric wires. Maple trees, along with hackberry, willow and cottonwood, may need to be cut further back when located under power lines to ensure no growth reaches the electric lines before the next scheduled tree trimming cycle. OG&E is aware of the business property owner’s complaint.OG&E
In response to homeowner:
The majority of our tree trimming takes place during our routine 4-year schedule. Following routine tree trimming, our crews will chip and haul small limbs and brush to the customer’s curb. Wood that is larger than four inches in diameter may be cut into manageable lengths and stacked on site for a customer’s use (like firewood). The tree trimming that occurred at this particular location was following severe weather. Disposal of any wood, limbs or debris resulting from this type of emergency operation is the property owner’s responsibility. OG&E is aware of the property damage complaint fromOG&E