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Trees Cause Power Outages!

How I made peace with the crew who came to trim my trees

The notice on my door read, “Trees Do Cause Power Outages!” and promised impending doom for my trees, or at least that’s how I initially read the signs.

I had heard that APS crews were in town with orders to clear tree branches from power lines, and the rumor was that they came through like Freddy Krueger with a chainsaw. Images of horribly hacked up trees immediately came to mind and my heart sank. The two trees they referred to on the notice was a pine tree my mother planted when she moved here 18 years ago, and the mesquite tree we had planted together just eight years ago. Both now commanded attention and were important features of my home. I considered briefly chaining myself to one of the trees and stopping ‘progress,’ but thought better of that and went to talk to the crew who were working up the street.

The notice on my door seemed to spell impending doom for my beloved trees.
The notice on my door seemed to spell impending doom for my beloved trees.

Luis Ramirez has been trimming trees with Mowbry Tree Trimmers out of California for years, and his partner Anibal Vasquez says his father has been in the business over 20 years. They know trees. And they were willing to talk to me about mine. I asked if I could fight city hall, so to speak, and stop APS from trimming my trees. I was told I could tell them to go away… but then I would still need to talk to their bosses about my trees. That seemed like a great idea for a split second, if only as a delaying tactic, but then I realized it was inevitable that some trimming was going to happen. After all, there is a reason APS requires a certain clearance around power lines, and I have to admit that I love my electricity at the house as much as anyone.

Working with Ramirez, we agreed upon a 4-foot cap on the mesquite tree, and minimal trimming on the pine. I still envisioned the mesquite tree looking like a flattop when they were done, and was mentally figuring out how to trim the rest of the tree to shape it into some semblance of its former glory after the crew left.

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To my surprise and utter relief, Ramirez never pulled out a chainsaw. He worked from a large bucket at the end of a boom with a handsaw; and as he began to work on the mesquite, I saw him giving attention to things like size and  shape, in addition to safety.

In order to trim out the heavy  growth on the interior, a worker uses a small chainsaw to further shape the tree.
In order to trim out the heavy growth on the interior, a worker uses a small chainsaw to further shape the tree.

Navigating the Lines

He soon had the top of the mesquite a safe distance from the wires, and even that didn’t look like the flattop effect I had feared. He kept working at the sides and then along the back of the tree, and took suggestions from me on the ground. I began to smile. The tree was actually looking good and I could see more of the house.

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Steve Gauthier, manager with Mowbrays Tree Service, had stopped by the house several times while his crew was working on my trees to check on the progress. We talked about their work here in Globe for APS. He explained that although letters had been sent out to everyone last March, most people forgot… so their presence has been a surprise to many homeowners around here. That is the reason he has gone door to door to leave door hangers, and is doing everything he can to communicate and work with owners to ensure they can get the job done for APS, and keep the peace.

The pine tree in the foreground was trimmed back to allow for a 5 yr growth pattern, but still kept it's shape from the street view.
The pine tree in the foreground was trimmed back to allow for a five-year growth pattern, but still kept its shape from the street view.

 

Steve Gauthier and his ace tree trimming crew who worked on my trees at Cedar Hill Bed and Breakfast.
Steve Gauthier and his ace tree trimming crew, who worked on my trees at Cedar Hill Bed and Breakfast.
I invite anyone who is concerned about the tree trimming process to drive by and take a look. Far from ‘butchering’ my tree, as rumors might suggest, this crew left it looking FINER than before and were a pleasure to work with.

 

 

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The BEFORE shot shows a mesquite which has taken over the front of the house, hiding the view and looking a little like a wild child.
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The newly-trimmed mesquite displays a beautiful shape that will fill out more in the summer, but still provide a view… and shade, thanks to the APS crew and Mowbry’s Tree Trimming service, who spent time cutting it back for safety and shaping it for aesthetics.

 

 

One comment

  1. Thank you very much Linda it was a pleasure working with you and I hope you like the work we have done. Once again Thank you.

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