Homeowners accuse BWL of excessive tree trimming

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- A once-full sycamore tree is now half bare.

Homeowners are upset with the "excessive" tree trimming by the BWL

"The front part of the tree was gone...It was just defaced," said Carol Curtis, one of the homeowners.

George and Carol Curtis' say the Lansing Board of Water and Light was excessive when clearing limbs near the power lines.

"We thought it would just be on the top but far away enough from the power lines so if there was any growth," said Carol. "But to completely go down the entire tree and take even the bottom branches off, I thought that was too much."

Because of the trees proximity to such an active road like Washington Road, the homeowners said cars have been stopping by to comment on the condition of the tree.

"They said sarcastically, 'Oh my goodness they really did a good job on that didn't they," recalled Carol.

The Curtis' say they complained to BWL who offered to tear the whole tree down.

"I says no I don't want to do that because that provides shade for our living room and bedrooms," said George Curtis, the other homeowner.

For now, the Curtis' say they will keep the tree up, but worry that it could impact the value of their home.

"We are 77-year-old seniors and we might sell this place in three years, all they did was devalue our property," explained George.

The BWL says limbs must be 20 feet away from the property lines for safety.

The Curtis' understand... But hope their situation encourages homeowners to ask questions.

"Don't be afraid to go out and ask why are you trimming so many?" advised Carol.

And in a statement responding to the trimming the BWL said:

The Lansing Board of Water & Light trims trees to industry standards to clear tree limbs away from power lines.
This is done to protect the safety of our customers and employees and maintain the reliability of service.
The BWL is always willing to listen to its customers when performing tree trimming work.

The BWL is almost finished with the five-year trimming plan it started after the the 2013 ice storm.

Electric customers who have tree limbs getting close to power lines can ask their power provider to trim them.

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