"Over the years they've come and trimmed them," said Unverhau. "And they've always been careful because spruce is a little bit different than the other tree."
He continued, "They just trimmed against the tops of the trees, and they did quite a job on them. I understand they have the right of way and have to do this, but they can be a little careful too."
According to Stella, National Grid meets national arborist standards and has been recognized by the International Society for Arborculture. He said that even though some trees may look harmless, they could cause severe damage in the event of a storm.
"In upstate New York, we have about 36,000 miles of distribution line," said Stella, referring to the cables that National Grid manages. "Our lines are exposed to more than 12,000 trees. We have about 3,000 annual interruptions in New York that are caused by trees, and that does not include major storms."
While Stella said National Grid has not cut more trees this year than in other years, he said it may appear so since National Grid visits certain locations within the five-to-seven-year cycle and residents might not remember what the trees looked like after the last trimming.
Unverhau said he had called National Grid to complain about the trees and had spoken to someone from the public relations department, but the damage was now already done.
While Stella said National Grid has received some complaints about the tree trimming, he said National Grid is following the same standards they always have and that they bring an arborist with them on the distribution line jobs to make sure they are doing the best job they can.