Industry News: Tree Appraisal

Q: Do I have any recourse against a utility crew that cut off many limbs of my willow?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016  
I just came home to find that Comcast tree crews have cut many limbs off the southern side of my willow tree. As a result, the tree looks very uneven and top heavy, and I’m concerned that it might tip over when the leaves come in. Is cutting off so many limbs dangerous to the tree?  Do I have any recourse against the utility?  I can send pictures if that helps.

A: Given that the tree is large enough to interfere with utilities, “many limbs” is not descriptive enough to know just how many limbs were removed, and the willow’s pre-prune condition is unknown. But willows are aggressive growers and, like all trees, are reactive and responsive to change. The tree should respond to the pruning with exceptional growth, assuming that a growth regulator or sprout inhibitor has not been used. Based on the information provided, the “tipping over” risk cannot be determined. Questions regarding your property rights, utility right of ways and granted accesses, and actual damages and recourse should be addressed to your attorney and a Registered Consulting Arborist.


Responder: Jeffrey Ling, RCA #337, Fort Wayne, IN