TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Electric Company said they removed two trees from a Riverside Heights property because the trees sat underneath power lines and appeared to be in poor health.
The removal came less than two days after an 8 On Your Side story voiced concerns of neighbors that the trees were unbalanced after tree trimming by the utility earlier in the year.
“The trees were directly under our power lines, and they were in poor health. We worked with the homeowner and made the decision to remove them,” a spokesperson for TECO said.
“News Channel 8 was the one that made a difference,” said Ramon Lopez, who was working on behalf of his across-the-street neighbor to address her concerns.
Neighbors invited us to see the trees first over the summer when they complained that the contractor hired by the power company was trimming the trees in a way that they believed was leaving them unbalanced and created a risk. After recent storms, they showed us how the tree had shifted and was leaning on a power line on the side of the tree that had not been cut back.
“They have been butchering the trees. Everybody has complained to each other, the neighbors, and if you drive through you can see it,” said Elizabeth Silicato, whose yard the trees were removed from.
Lopez hopes future tree related decisions will be easier to navigate for residents in working with the company.
“They need to be changed. Add a little more common sense. And whoever they have looking at the trees, buy them some new glasses or something,” he said.