Want to ask a question? Click here

Why must some companies pay for tree removal on residents’ property while others don’t?

Patrick Gannon

There’s been a lot of controversy recently about companies owning certain rights to residents’ property.

It all comes down to contracts and easements.

For instance, the Airport Authority paid some $45,000 to a local man whose trees are being cut down. Progress Energy actually did the same for its heavy tree removal in Wilmington in early 2009.

Progress Energy spokesman Drew Elliot said the old trees cut in Wilmington earlier this year were on perpetual easements owned by the utility. At some point, Progress Energy paid the property owners — perhaps previous owners — for those easements around the high-voltage transmission lines, Elliot said. Owning the easements allows Progress Energy to remove or trim the vegetation when needed.

Plus, after a massive blackout in 2003 left much of the Northeast without power, a federal law approved in 2005 required power companies to keep vegetative debris away from transmission lines or face massive fines for any power failures caused by falling tree limbs.

“Trimming no longer was an option for us,” Elliot said, referring to Progress Energy’s traditional way of keeping limbs away from power lines.

The rules, Elliot said, are intended to reduce power outages that can affect thousands of customers at once.

As for the New Hanover County Airport Authority, it paid Charles Joyce nearly $45,000 for the rights to airspace above his property. A contract signed by Joyce allowed the authority to cut the trees that entered that airspace to the ground.

User-contributed question by:

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: