Enwin not responsible for disposing of foliage cleared by crews, Windsor resident learns

When last Monday's snow storm struck Windsor, Robert Stewart thought he'd only have to worry about shovelling snow off his property. 

What he didn't anticipate, however, was having to worry about cleaning up a large bundle of tree branches left by Enwin crews.

According to Stewart, Monday's storm blanketed the 80-foot-tall corkscrew willow in his yard with snow. So much snow, in fact, that branches from the willow were coming into contact with Enwin power lines. 

After arranging for staff to trim the branches and prevent trouble, Stewart said he left his home for a few hours. When he returned, he found foliage scattered across his yard.

"They cut the branch and literally where it fell, they just left it," he said, adding that he had to clear branches approximately "seven feet or eight feet tall, maybe 15 feet to 20 feet in diameter at the base" that were blocking access to his home.

Stewart soon took a photo which he subsequently posted to Facebook and later spoke to an Enwin supervisor.

The supervisor told Stewart "it's your tree, it's not a city tree."

Private trees on private property are the responsibility of private residents, says Enwin

Robert Spagnuolo, director of customer service for Enwin, clarified the company's foliage disposal policy. 

"Typically when it is a private tree, we leave the branches in the customer's property for them to clear and bring to the front year for disposal," said Spagnuolo. "But we do offer assistance when customers are unhappy with the way their property is left."

Spagnuolo said Enwin is "always happy to help" clear foliage that's touching service lines.

"We don't want the public to be trimming trees near their private wires, but it is the customer's responsibility to hire a qualified person to keep their service wire clear of trees," he said. "Of course, whenever it's an emergency situation, Enwin is happy to help."

Since it had snowed for almost an entire day previously, and since Enwin had received a "high volume of calls related to the heavy snow that's on the branches" according to Spagnuolo, Enwin crews cleared Stewart's tree branches. 

In this case, Spagnuolo said Enwin ultimately offered to help dispose of the branches in Stewart's yard — something that Stewart also confirmed.

"I'm glad that there is a kind of recognition on their part that they job was maybe not done correctly and with the kind of care that people expect when they're inviting people onto their property to work," said Stewart.