Highway tree cutting

When I arrived home from work yesterday, something seemed different.
I looked up and 2 trees on either side of my driveway had all of their branches cut off up to approx 25'. The trees are close to the road and I could understand branches being trimmed on the road side, but they cut all branches, including the ones on my side.
Is this a normal cutting technique? There is no interference to utility wires, as all wire runs underground across the street from me.
I did contact MD State Highway Administration, and the person I did speak to said my road was their jurisdiction, but the person who would know was out of the office, attending a meeting, but assured me they would return my call to answer any specific questions.
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John Reber wrote:

Not sure whether you mean the topped the tree at 25' or cleared the undercanopy up to that height. Given it wasn't for utilities I would assume it wasn't topped.
Either is a fairly common practice by maintenance although the abomination topping is fortunately less common than it once was (at least in enlightened jurisdictions).
If the trees are on the right-of-way, it would be likely they're taking preemptive action for long term visibility concerns. If they clear only the bare minimum of low branches required for visibility today, it's not that long before it may be needed again. If they trim high, takes a lot longer for it to be a problem again.
Since the trees are in the street side right of way, they're theirs, effectively, not yours. That they did all of them instead of leaving them lopsided is probably better, actually than if they hadn't.
Don't think there's much really to talk about...
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dpb wrote:

Thanks for a quick response.
I meant they cleared the undercanopy. I was just curious as to why they did it the way they did. I understand the reason for trimming high, just didn't know if it was better to do the whole tree or just the road side, or if it didn't matter either way. None of the other trees along the road were trimmed like this.
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John Reber wrote:

Hi, IMO, to maintain balanced shape, good to look, good for the tree.
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I know with trimming branches which are hanging over your property from a neighbor's tree, it can make the tree "lopsided" and the tree can fall. Then you could be held responsible for damages.
So maybe they were doing it "right" so the tree would not fall at some future date?
Anyway I think this is good. Around here they just trim for street or around power lines and the trees look pretty bad. I would think the way they trimmed your trees would look better.
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John Reber wrote:

That last is somewhat interesting, though...
Had there been any indication of a impaired vision problem getting in/out of the driveway (or maybe more importantly, a neighbor's driveway)? Or, are you near a corner or curve or other restricted visibility zone.
Sounds to me like somebody made a "concerned citizen" call if it wasn't a general soire through the neighborhood and the MD DOT thought it justified so fixed it.
I would say, overall, you should be glad they did it the way they seem to have done.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.jci.tju.edu says...

I would guess they gave those two a trim all the way around because they wanted to maintain visibility and access on your driveway, as an intersection. They don't care about the other trees that aren't at an intersection.
Plus it keeps your trees balanced. Depending on the type of tree, if you limb up just one side, the tree will be unbalanced in a heavy wind and will be more likely to lose limbs or even split the trunk. Trees that back against a forest are sheltered on the back side, trees that back to your driveway are exposed to wind along your driveway.
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On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 10:57:29 -0400, John Reber

If a windstorm blew the tree over onto the roadway.......
You get the idea, don't you?
What's more important, your view of your tree or the ability of the fire engine or ambulance to make it to the person in distress?
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valvejob wrote:

Hmm, my view or some stranger's distress. Let me think...
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John Reber wrote:

It is possible that they are not your trees but trees you planted outside your property line. You may want to establish the boundary before complaining further. My line is about 5 feet from the paved road. I grow grass and have a mailbox over my line which is no big deal. If the highway dept. damaged trees on your property you may have a gripe but, also, even if you own the property with the trees, they may have an easement that allows them to do what they did. Frank
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John Reber wrote:

Cutting branches off one side would look like crap - mebbe they did you a favor.
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"John Reber" wrote

I work for a Department of Transportation, in a different state.
The trees you speak of, were no doubt earmarked a potential road hazard. Those times you see state vehicles just "riding around", are actually someone out there doing their job, looking for problems or potential problems.
Professionals trimmed "your" tree. Count your blessings that your tax dollars are at work.
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