By: Michael Delemma
FPL scheduled a meeting last Monday to discuss the damage and the formal complaint I made to them regarding the hacking of the trees that grow along the 64th Avenue and White Oak Lane chain link fence border.
I met with Carrie Shuster, utility arborist from FPL and Mr. Jules, foreman for the company that FPL employs to trim trees. We walked over to the area that was trimmed and I pointed out to them exactly what was wrong with the job that was performed. I told them I never in my life have seen trees damaged and cut in a way to actually make them look like a storm ripped through them: The different levels and uneven cuts of branches, the over-hanging branches along the fence line and the overall bad appearance that was left.
Shuster and Jules were very careful not to admit that the job was not done well, skirting around the fact that the trees were a mess. They said it was due to the “different varieties of trees growing within the area.”
I said that I have different varieties of shrubs growing around my property, and they are cut in a uniform manner. They both kept trying to steer me away from why the job was done that way and move on to a solution. I said that neither one of them were taking responsibility for what was done.
“You know that this job was not done right, but you refuse to admit it.” I said to Jules.
“You are an arborist and you know better,” I said to Shuster. “ What was done to these trees here as well as the hat-racking to the trees on the golf course is not right, whether you admit to it or not.”
I told them to look how poorly they were trimmed. It was obvious to me that they were cut by workers who didn’t care what kind of quality job was done. I pointed out how near one pole the trees were cut several feet shorter than the rest.
Shuster said it looked very bad, but would not admit there was any other way to avoid it. She said they needed better access to that pole. Their answer was “they will grow back quickly.” I explained that yes, they will grow back fast, but will always be at different heights.
I told Shuster, “If you went to a hair salon to get your hair trimmed, and the hairdresser gave you a bad crew cut, and after complaining their response was, ” Well it will grow back, would you be satisfied with that answer?” She responded that it would be different because that is a personal thing. I said that it is personal to me and the residents because we have to look at this travesty every day now.
Basically they admitted that the trees could have perhaps been cut better, but still held onto the idea that it was acceptable, which of course I disagree.
Another important issue that was mentioned was that FPL will return in a year to inspect the growth and the proximity of the trees to the wires, and then every three years if the trees are not trimmed, they will once again trim them back. I mentioned that several years ago it was stated to me by one of the trimmers that if the Woodlands would take care of maintaining and trimming these trees they wouldn’t have to get involved in the first place. If the Woodlands or the club choose to allow the trees to grow wild, then they are trimmed by FPL as they see fit.
Basically at this point there is nothing much that can be done. I suggested that they come back and try to trim them more evenly, but Shuster said that the trees are our “buffer” against the noise from 64th Avenue and if they trim the trees any more, that buffer will be further compromised.
As a peace offering, the tree trimming company will come back and remove the dead palm leaves from the strip of palm trees by the canal. They removed the dead palm fronds on the other side of the road, and admitted it looked uneven now.
Both Shuster and Jules said that ClubLink should trim the over-hanging branches on the fence that droop all the way to the grass. They also said that next time I should call them when the trimming starts and express what is taking place either good or bad. I said that I am still upset over what was done and that I do not accept their answers that they gave me, however I appreciated them taking the time to meet with me and discuss the situation. Shuster said to call her anytime and I told her that she was very professional and she thanked me.
I can’t help thinking that this situation is just not another result of the people in charge not taking their responsibilities seriously. If ClubLink, who is responsible for the maintenance of the golf course, would have trimmed those trees in the first place, then they would have perhaps been trimmed by professional trimmers, and not been hacked like they were. Where is the responsibility or pride?
There is so much neglect taking place here by different entities, and why? I don’t know, but as long as I live here I will not accept it.
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