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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Utility Company Cut Down Trees Outside Their Right of Way

    I live in Pennsylvania. the Pa Power and light (PPL) came through and clear cut their right of way due to new vegetation mgmt program. they contacted all property owners of the right of way. We were not notified but own property ajoining their right of way. They "mistakenly" came onto our property without notice and well outside the right of way. They clear cut about 20 ft into our property. This included cutting out several old oak trees and one old cherry. The oaks ranged in diameter from 12 to 24 inches.

    The subcontractor said he made a mistake and offered us several small pine trees to replant if we wanted them. We have now contacted PPL and the forester will be out to look.
    I do not know what a reasonable offer would be. I would like to avoid the cost of an attorney if they come close to something reasonable. The trees are not replaceable , obviously. I read some threads that are similar about other states. Anyone know about the law in PA. also does it make any difference that they are the electric company?

    Other owners of the right of way were given written notice. They stated they didn't realize the land that ajoins the right of way was ours. We own 15 acres.
    Pretty big to overl I would appreciate any help on assessing damages and the law in PA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Utility Company Cut Down Trees Outside Their Right of Way

    You might want to start with getting a police report. They will offer you whatever you will accept. People do sell larger trees. Stumps will need to be removed and the larger trees planted. They will need to be watered well the first year. And they must live or they can re-plant. You should also get paid for the trouble and time.
    Or, you can get a lawyer and let the power company pay the bill along with paying you.
    Their land agent or construction supervisor screwed up by not having the area marked or the controators missed the markers. Regarding the damages, you can call an appraiser or forester to come out and give you a number. I like the re planting idea. The power company will want to write a check and keep going. If you state has a Public Service Commission, you might want to get them involved if the power company gets un-reasonable. Good luck.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Utility Company Cut Down Trees Outside Their Right of Way

    I work for a utility and I've heard of a few feet outside the road right of way but 20 feet in width??? I'd contact your Utilities Commission first, and file a complaint. Also insist to the Utility that you need to hire a forester to see how much merchantible timber was removed, old trees like yours are worth moolah, make them give you $1000 up front to cover this cost. If these steps don't yield total cooperation from the Utility get a lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Utility Company Cut Down Trees Outside Their Right of Way

    Sorry I delayed the response. New to this type of communication.
    Several people have been up to look at the damages and confirm how much they cut into our private property. A total of 83 trees were cut down. Oak
    cherry ash mainly. 15 oaks were very large and massive the others ranged from 6 inch diameter and larger. (I have the actual count with the diameters).
    The subcontractors are a nationally known company quite large. They know they are wrong no dispute they want to know what we want as a monetary settlement. We told them the replacement value of the tree. Any advise on getting this value? Just read article where city in TX planted 15 large oaks and paid 128,000 to do so.
    I dont think I have to file a complaint at this point because they are in no way denying they are in the wrong. They looked at our measurements of the easement and agreed. They helped to count and mark the trees. The know that going to court we would win.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Utility Company Cut Down Trees Outside Their Right of Way

    First of all, you need to document what happened. The power company has and you need to either get a copy or do your own homework. Filing a complaint does more that get their attention. It lets the PUC know what kind of job the utilities are doing. Next, get a lawyer. The power company is going to pay the attorney's fees anyway, so what do you have to lose.

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