Row of trees between Sections One and Seven on Bayberry Lane

You would have to be blind not to notice someone went chainsaw-happy on some of the trees in the Woodlands. Take a look for yourself, there are trees on our golf course that have been butchered into shapes that don’t exist in nature.

Was ClubLink Corp, owner of the golf course, trying to save money by not hiring a tree specialist?

Maybe there was some sort of electrical line to avoid that warranted rows of trees to be hacked into these odd shapes?

The last time I saw trees that were hat-racked, was over a year ago along Commercial Boulevard in front of Section two.  FPL butchered the trees out front in this same fashion making them appear to be mushroom-shaped.   I’m not positive what came next, but someone complained, and FPL pulled the trees and planted much nicer ones in their place.

I looked closer today, and noticed that the electrical lines were so far above the trees, that the limbs would never had come close to reaching one of those lines.  Why would FPL even need to cut them like this?

When I was a resident of Davie, if you trimmed your tree like this, or “hat-racked” it, you would either pay a fine or replace the tree, depending on the damage. The Town of Davie was very serious about tree quantities per lot, and they especially didn’t like residents butchering their canopy trees.

Hat-Racked Tree on Bayberry Drive

According to the Miami Herald, Hat-racking, a technique employed by some of South Florida’s tree trimmers, removes all limbs (100 percent of the canopy) above an arbitrarily drawn line. Hat-racking is a damaging and sometimes deadly pruning process. Removing the canopy of a healthy, vigorous tree has consequences far beyond the cosmetic damage.

A hat-racked tree loses all its ability to make food, since its green, chlorophyll-containing food factories, the leaves, are removed. The tree is then forced to use all of its stored energy, found in the trunk and roots, to re-foliate. Using up stored energy is never good. Sometimes the tree is so depleted that it can never fully recover and may often go into decline and die.

I showed the photo of the tree to C. Way Hoyt, Owner and Certified Arborist Tree Trimmers & Associates, Inc. who assessed the damage:

The photo you sent shows a tree that appears to have been over-thinned, as well as topped. Both over-thinning and topping are detrimental to the tree because they stress the tree health-wise, and the removal of too many interior limbs forces all subsequent growth the ends of the branches and results in water sprouts, tip-weighted limbs (prone to failure), sunburn, and poor growth.Trees that are topped result in new sprouts that are weakly attached and prone to failure.

Both over-thinning and topping are not in conformance with the American National Standards Institute A 300 pruning standards. These standards have been adopted by the Broward County Commission and mandated for all 31 cities in Broward.  Pruning that is not in conformance with these standards is a violation of City and County standards and may result in fines, forced tree removal, and replacement trees required.” – Way Hoyt, Owner and Certified Arborist Tree Trimmers & Associates, Inc.

Most tree trimmers try to persuade homeowners to let them hat-rack their tree under the pretense that they are making their trees hurricane proof. These trees are more likely to have their broken limbs in a windstorm than the ones that have been pruned properly.

Whoever is responsible, needs fire “Edward Scissorhands” and hire a real arborist.

These trees are unsightly and this brutal botchery of a tree trimming looks like a chainsaw massacre.

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

8 Responses to "Who Butchered the Trees in the Woodlands Country Club?"

  1. What a shame, but it’s “par for the course,” pun intended. Clublink has demonstrated that they take little pride in anything except the golf course greens. On my street, White Oak Lane, Clublink is supposed to maintain an area by the canal that has a border of grass, shrubs and palm trees. They wait until the grass and weeds are so high before they finally trim it, and the quality of the job they perform is shameful. They have allowed weed trees and vines to grow among the shrubs, they have never trimmed the dead palm leaves, or ever remove the fallen ones from the roadside. Someone keeps throwing used coffe cups by the grass also, that I have gotten the task of picking up daily.
    Just look at the trees that line the up hill road to the main clubhouse. They have rope lights wrapped around them, most of which are probably burnt out, there are few that are lighted. Clublink is behaving almost as bad as what we had running the club before, as far as, landscape and maintenance is concerned.
    Clublink must think that their golfers don’t notice how things look aside from the course itself. Maybe if they start losing memberships or start receiving complaints maybe then they will change their ways. Most of our common areas and perimeters are a disgrace, so they have joined the “Club” link. ha
    Sharon once again you have brought something of great interest to our attention. You mention Davie, I mention Plantation, Coral Springs, Coral Ridge and Parkland. Their pride in their cities is evident,and the lack of pride in ours is also evident.

  2. You are wrong to think that Clublink had anything to dowith the way these trees were trimmed. This is the work of FPL. I have beeen a member of the club for over 10 years and every year at the beginning of hurrricane season FPL hires a company to cut those trees because they are diretly under the power lines.

  3. If FPL is indeed responsible, then club link should follow up and inform them that what they did was harmful to the trees. Maybe the commissioner or mayor, both who are residents of the Woodlands should get involved in helping this community improve itself. As far as Clublink’s responsibilty on White Oak Lane, that has not changed and can not be blamed on FPL. The bottom line is that things are not being done properly here and need to be corrected. Add that to the ever growing list…

  4. According to my husband, he saw FPL cutting those trees, so we believe it is the poor continuing practices of FPL to do this to trees around power lines. I agree Club Link should contact them, but the larger issue is why FPL continues to get away with this practice as it is not the first time they have improperly trimmed trees.

  5. What we are all witnessing with the butchering of the golf course trees is called “HATRACKING”, a derogatory term from the days when gentlemen all wore hats and needed a place to put them when they came into church or a public building. It is not allowed and several country clubs have taken FP&L to court over this issue – and won. But you have to be careful here because FP&L does have a legal right through easments to come onto private land to maintain their power lines. However, this contract work crew actually doing the butchering has gone way beyond what is allowed under the courts rulings. Furthermore, as this is called scheduled maintenance, FP&L is required to give notice to the Woodlands when they are going to do this work, in case there is a golf tournament scheduled, etc. – which this contract work crew does not do. Finaly, I have informed senior management of Clublink about this situation with the “HATRACKING” and they, to date, have not taken the legal steps necessary to put a stop to this tree butchering, which now may be too late. Too bad.

  6. “Things that make you go Hmmm”, makes you wonder. Some trees are no where near wires; for instance on the NE area of the course, no wires there. I know theses trees get trimmed low, but they usually take just the tops off.

  7. The butchering continues on 64th Ave and White Oak lane. FPL was out there last Friday, yestereday and today Tuesday 7/10/12. Just another example of how this city is treated and how our neighborhood and community is treated. They obviously don’t care, and our elected officials are not doing anything about it as it conntinues. What a shame that they get away with it at our expense.

  8. The number to call at FPL, customer service is 1-800-458-8243. Just say you want to have a complaint noted and they will direct your call to the proper area. I spoke to a very nice lady who listened and wrote down my complaint about the harm that was done to the trees on the golf course and the trees along 64th ave./White Oak Lane. She sounded very concerned about what I told her. The more calls they get from our residents the better. I urge residents to call and tell them that the butchering of our trees is not acceptable. I e-mailed clublink last week and I still have not heard from them. Obviously they are not very concerned. Also I had sent a photo to Commissioner Bushnell, her office responded infroming of the number to call at FPL. I wanted her to get involved, but was informed that the city had “no jurisdiction over FPL.” We are on our own when if comes to the abuse this community is subjected to in most instances…

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