TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Electric Company is in the process of trimming trees in an attempt to protect powerlines from possible storm damage with the start of hurricane season. But, some residents are frustrated and say TECO is treating the tree trimming more like a hack job.
“The problem that we’re having right now is they’re severely hacking trees,” said Susan Roghair who lives in the neighborhood.
Roghair says she’s observed tree trimmers cutting old oak trees so severely she fears it is damaging the trees and creating more risk.
TECO says they are nationally recognized for their tree trimming efforts which are overseen by arborists.
But residents stopped when they saw 8 On Your Side to complain about the trimming.
“I came out and talked to them. They said it’s their orders from TECO. All you can do is call TECO and complain,” said Ben Stephens, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.
“You can’t undo what’s been done. it’s a shock, to be honest,” he added.
TECO says the trimming is strictly about safety, but that they also balance the work with the aesthetic of the neighborhoods. The utility did not agree with characterizations that the trimming was “more severe” as some residents have alleged.
Neighbors say they’ve now reached out to city leaders for guidance with the hopes of stopping similar tree trimming in their area.