The Value of Lost Trees - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/2/03

The Value of Lost Trees

"All the trees are just gone," said a heartbroken Cathy Fuller. Her plot of land off of I-27 has been scarred by a mistake. Hundreds of trees cut down by Asplundh tree removal in an apparent mix-up."They didn't ask permission," said Fuller.

Utility companies have the right to keep the 30 foot area directly under the power lines free and clear of trees. But anything outside of that region and they have to check with the property owner. Something which, unfortunately in this case, didn't happen. An oversight, a mistake. But a costly one.

Over 700 trees were cut down. The majority just one to three inches in diameter, but some over 30-years-old. Irreplaceable natural treasures that have the Fullers angry, upset, and in the middle of a battle over the value of their worth.

"We just want it back the way it was," said Fuller. How much that will cost is up for debate. The Fullers have an estimate for nearly $50,000, but in a telephone interview, Asplundh officials say that's excessive, more than five times the value of the land itself. On Monday, they're flying in their own expert to appraise the damage, leaving open wounds for another week.

"I'm hurt, I'm hurt. I'll be angry later," said Fuller.

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