News 2 I-Team: SCE&G tree trimming causes concern among Mt. Pleasant residents

 

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) — Several people in Mount Pleasant contacted the News 2 I-Team after SCE&G started trimming trees near power lines.

Customers are upset that the service was performed without notice, and they’re not happy with the finished product.

Edward Shimer’s home has been standing since 1860. He guesses the magnolia tree in his front yard has also been there that long.

“You can see the house is kind of built around that tree,” said Shimer.

He bought the house a few years ago. He says in the time he’s been in the home, he’s watched the tree change—man-made changes.

“Two years ago, I’m out of town, my wife’s at her shop, and we get a call and texts from neighbors saying they’re butchering that tree,” Shimer said.          He says contractors through SCE&G were trimming the trees around the power lines. He said he didn’t receive any notice.

“My wife was in tears. She said they wouldn’t stop,” Shimer said.

A few weeks ago, Shimer says it happened again.

“Once again she’s sending pictures and they’re butchering it … If you look at it I think they cut branches that have nothing to do with those power lines,” he said.

Leigh Rowe has a similar story with her two pear trees.

“The tree guys showed up, and just kind of chopped down the middle of it,” Rowe said.

She says she also didn’t receive notice from SCE&G

“No one tells you what they’re going to do. They just show up and do it,” she said.

News 2 reached out to SCE&G. They said post cards or emails were sent to customers on February 24 before the trimming began.

There was also a work shop showing the areas that would be affected.

A civic alert from the town explains SCE&G would be pruning trees this year. It lists the streets where the pruning would occur, but not the dates it would be happening.

Town councilmember Joe Bustos thinks it may be time for the Town to step in.

“They just come in cut big V’s and leave,” said Bustos.

“There just being torn apart and I think it’s important we look at that. I think we put something in our regulations that SCE&G has to subscribe to,” Bustos said.

Lewis Tree Service from Walterboro was contracted to perform the service. They issued this statement:

Regarding the process that our employees go through to trim the trees for the utility, our crew members adhere to ANSI A300 national pruning standards and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Best Management Practices for Tree Pruning. With that said, we work hard to ensure the health and longevity of the trees.

The Arborist for the Town of Mount Pleasant provided the below pamphlet that explains the proper way to prune trees:

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