Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Utility Workers Spray Herbicides in Yard and Gardens




Our home is located directly next to a wooded area. But that does not mean that our yard is overgrown.  We keep our yard maintained so that it does not attract unwanted wildlife. In the back section of my yard. I grow three serviceberry Amelanchier shrubs. The area is 7 feet from utility pole but since the shrubs are within the guidelines;  less than 20 feet in height when fully grown I was confident that this sunny area was a good area to grow the shrubs. I was wrong because the vegetation  workers at Empire Electric came out and killed my fruit bearing shrubs with herbicide.

Also in the line of herbicide was my 3-foot Nanking cherry bush and 8-foot elderberry bush.
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Know that I planted the serviceberry shrubs in May of 2005 and they never grew to the full 12 feet in height with similar spread because I pruned them yearly. They were not interfering with the utility lines and since they shrubs were growing in my yard, my property they were not in the way of utility workers.



 When I spoke to the arborist he told me that they sprayed all vegetation in the common area behind my garage and any plant tree or shrub less than 10 feet away from the utility poles was treated with herbicide injected into to the soil at the base of three or shrub.  That it was common for any plants in the general area to be affected by the herbacide which explains why my lilies died.

For some reason. the arborist and utility workers  thought these plants would interfere with the electrical lines that were 40 feet above. The electrical poles are located in a grass common area that is mowed. There was grass before the utility workers now there is dead brown grass or dirt.

The arborist at Empire Electric calls this vegetation management. The problem that I have is that there was no vegetation to manage, my yard is not unmaintained. Even in the woods my husband kept the trees trimmed and the vegetation cut back because we did not want to attract snakes or other wildlife.

Here is a guideline that shows the homeowner where to plant trees and shrubs.



The general tree and shrub planting rule is that small trees and shrubs with a mature height of 20 feet are less can grow closer to a utility pole, trees with a mature height of 40 feet or less must be planted further away.  My shrubs should never have been sprayed with herbicide and killed, nor should the soil been poisoned with toxins, killing the earthworms and other plants in the surrounding area.

 Know that I did get a postcard from the utility company saying that they would be clearing brush in my area. I assumed in the woods, and not in my yard.  There was no mention of using toxins as I would have refused and done the clearing myself.

Be Aware of Herbicides that Utility Companies Use


If you receive notification from the utility company saying that they are gong to clear brush then find out if they intend to use herbicide to kill the brush. I would recommend that you refuse the toxic chemicals that kill everything and insist that trim the trees instead of killing them. It would be better to have the tree cut down than poison injected into your soil.

Also do not fall for the herbicide treatment to stunt the growth of your trees. The arborist at my utility company says that my fall color on my maple will be much better if I allow him to inject my trees roots with herbicide.,  With a smile on his face he told me that come spring that there will be no new growth and in four years my tree will have to be cut down. 


Do the math, no new growth, cutting down your tree in 4 years. The herbicide is killing your trees slowly.  You will think your tree died and have to pay the expense to have it cut down, you will not realize that the herbicied killed your treel slowly.


Herbicides are poisonous chemicals that are used to kill vegetation and to slowly kill mature trees. They are frequently used by utility workers and can cause health hazards to adults, but they are especially hazardous to children, pets, and wildlife.

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