LUS suspends tree trimming following customer complaints; town hall scheduled

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Hurricane season is upon us and that means Lafayette Utilities System is out pruning branches of trees that may cause problems to power lines during severe weather.

But residents in the Oaklawn subdivision aren’t too happy about their trees being trimmed

“There has been pruning in the past, but never has it been so radical as of this year”, says Herman Mhire, Oaklawn Subdivision

Mhire has lived in Oaklawn Subdivision for more than 25 years. One of his concerns with the tree pruning is the trees not being symmetrical and being blown over during storms.

“Sometimes up to 50% of the tree is removed. Usually, it’s on the street side. Where does that leave all the weight? It’s on the side of the tree facing the house.”

Mhire says In addition to decreasing property value, the way and time of year the trees are cut is detrimental to its health.
But LUS Director, Terry Huval says the trimming is done with the community in mind and to avoid branches falling on power lines. Huval says a licensed arborist is on the scene of each pruning to ensure the tree’s safety.

Huval says, “To our knowledge, we have never done trimming on a tree that’s caused the tree to die. It’s always been with a lot of sensitivity to make sure the tree remains healthy. Now, remaining healthy and how it looks can be two different things, we understand that.”

After hearing Mhire and other resident complaints, LUS has suspended tree trimming in the neighborhood.
District Six Councilman, Bruce Conque, has scheduled a town hall meeting with LUS to hear the people’s concerns. That meeting will be June 27th at city hall at 6 pm.

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