Fort Myers man loses part of treasured mango tree to utility maintenance

Published: Updated:

A Fort Myers man says a treasured mango tree in his yard was partially chopped by utility crews.

Jim Walker said he returned home one day to find crews from Florida Power and Light had over-trimmed a mango tree that has been there for 20 years.

It isn’t just any mango tree.

“I planted this for my mother,” he said. “This is a mango tree that I planted 21 years ago in 1999 on Mother’s Day.”

For those 21 years, it has been right behind his home, a fond memory of his late mother.

But two weeks ago, Walker returned home to find FPL crews cutting limbs off the tree.

“They were in the process of cutting this limb right here which is about 5 feet off the ground,” he said.

“I can understand cutting the branches that are near the powerlines but this is not hurting anything.”

Walker ordered them to stop.

“It’s tragic; it’s almost grotesque to see the way they did this to this tree.”

On its website, FPL claims that trees and any other vegetation in the direct path of a power line will be identified for maintenance. FPL will not trim every tree in close proximity to the line.

“This was not an emergency situation; this could’ve been avoided,” Walker said.

“Thank God I had to come home at the time I did because otherwise, they would have cut all of these lower limbs.”

Walker said he’s grateful FPL left the rest of his tree alone and said there are no hard feelings.

“We can’t turn back the hands on the clock but we can move forward,” he said.

“Hopefully the tree will recover.”

FPL sent WINK News a statement saying they worked with the owner of the mango tree that is in the easement, which should be kept clear.

For more on FPL’s “Right Tree, Right Place” program, click here.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.