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Published February 07, 2012, 10:31 PM

Jamestown tree-trimming conflict may lead to policy change

Jamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - Homeowners unhappy with city tree-trimming in Jamestown may be prompting policy change. More people are coming forward, saying crews got carried away cutting baby branches, so the city's looking into new ways to tackle the tree-trimming trouble.

Homeowners unhappy with city tree-trimming in Jamestown may be prompting policy change. More people are coming forward, saying crews got carried away cutting baby branches, so the city's looking into new ways to tackle the tree-trimming trouble.

These teeny, tiny nubs are mostly what's left of the street-side of Dann Holm's tree - one he planted.

Dann Holm - Jamestown: "They said these branches here would hurt heavy equipment."

Homeowners like Holm complain the city crews hacked baby branches beyond belief.

Dann Holm: "To the ones I knew I said, I wouldn't come to your house and do that to you. I thought you were my friends."

The city has a lot of rules to follow when it comes to trimming trees. For example, they're supposed to keep these branches from hanging too far into the street, but some say crews got carried away.

Reed Schwartzkopf – Jamestown City Engineer: "We really weren't supposed to trimming trees than 6 inches in diameter. That wasn't communicated to crews and I take full responsibility for that. I don't know why that happened exactly. The buck stops here so I'm to blame."

He can't grow back branches, but City Engineer Reed Schwartzkopf will consider policy change at the next Public Works Committee meeting.

Reed Schwartzkopf: "Let's treat it like a high grass or weed notice in a lawn and send out a notice to people."

That idea could pose problems.

Reed Schwartzopf: "The next step is, would that be necessarily charged back to the property?"

Back by Holm's butchered branches, he jokes about their lop-sided limbs.

Dann Holm: "I tell people, look and laugh, but they may be coming to a neighborhood near you."

Holm says he's sad to see the little shade it gave go. Now, he simply hopes his half-a-tree survives.

The city engineer says the ideas will be on the Public Works Agenda in the next two months.

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