'Tree City USA' Sisters cracks down on tree-cutters

Some in hot water for felling city Ponderosa pines

City of Sisters cracking down on cut...

SISTERS, Ore. - The city of Sisters, known as a "Tree City USA," is cracking down on people cutting down city-owned Ponderosa pines.

Some homeowners are in trouble when it comes to trimming or cutting down trees. 

Sisters resident Jack Lincke didn't want to go on camera, but he told NewsChannel 21 Thursday he reached out to city officials about concerns he had about some trees in front of his house that he feared could damage his home if they fell. 

Lincke said someone from the city came out to his home on November 2016 to evaluate the trees but never followed up with him.

This month, he hired a tree service to cut down several large Ponderosas. Lincke said the tree service told him he didn't need permission from the city to cut down the trees. 

Adrienne Brown, a neighbor who lives across the street, said she was upset those healthy trees would be cut down without the city giving the green light. 

"He made a mistake by not going through the proper channels," she said. "And the trees -- the nine trees were all healthy, and all of us are upset, because they were beautiful trees, and they have to be checked out by professionals before they are cut down by homeowners." 

Community Development Director Patrick Davenport said when it comes to city trees, homeowners and tree crews need to get approval from the city. 

Davenport said nine healthy Ponderosa trees on city property were cut and three were pruned on South Pine Street.

"There are fines that are available as a tool for abatement," Davenport said. "But right now, the active cases, we're working with our legal department on what to do about that and how to do handle the correspondence that comes with it. I can't comment on how we're going to handle each situation." 

NewsChannel 21 asked Davenport how much those fines could be, as well as the the amount in damages or losses for the trees cut down on South Pine Street. We have yet to get those numbers. 

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