Tuesday 21 November 2017

Smart Consumer: The ESB had to cut my tree, but I fear they've left it a safety hazard

Martina contacted Smart Consumer with a complaint that may not be that common but one that's pretty serious, because it relates to the safety of a tree in her garden.

She writes: "I have a tree in my garden and some years ago the ESB asked if they could cut branches as it was touching their lines. I gave them permission.

"However," she continues, "they have come back again more recently and cut more branches, and the result is now that the tree is leaning to one side and is in a precarious position."

Martina says that she does not mind them cutting the tree, but she believes the tree is now unsafe because of the pruning they have carried out.

She asks: "Should they not prune uniformly so that the tree does not bear weight all on one side?"

Martina says: "On the last two occasions that they pruned the tree, it was done by the ESB themselves with their own staff and vehicle. The first time they used tree surgeons who were from an outside company."

Martina has already been in contact with the ESB but there was no resolution and she admits she "would be delighted if you could get them to improve the condition of the tree".

Well, Martina didn't pay for a tree-pruning service but nonetheless on giving permission to have the tree pruned she should reasonably expect that it is carried out with the necessary skill and expertise.

Needless to say, safety should also be a priority.

Smart Consumer contacted the ESB on Martina's behalf and following correspondence and a visit by the tree experts to Martina's garden, she is happy that "the offending tree was made safe".

An ESB spokesperson confirmed that: "In relation to Martina, ESB Networks met with her and resolved the issue to her satisfaction."

The ESB also made the following comment: "ESB Networks uses tree-cutting specialists to ensure that trees and hedges are kept a safe distance from the electricity network.

"This is vital from a public safety perspective and to ensure continuity of electricity supply. Nationally ESB carry out a planned timber-cutting maintenance programme.

"If members of the public have a particular concern, they can contact ESB Networks at 1850 372 999."

Irish Independent

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