Homeowners warn of tree removal company that took cash and failed to perform work

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News Investigates has uncovered a list of unhappy neighbors who say they called the police on the same tree removal company and took the owner to court over unfinished work.

In some cases, the judges even ordered the owner of Don’s Tree Experts to pay those customers back.

Homeowners told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray they did not receive the money, even after a court order.

DeKalb County resident, Sherral Cannon said he thought he was calling the same tree removal company he had worked with in the past.

“We called Don, who had been here before, to cut down some trees,” Cannon said.

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He wrote a check for a deposit of $700. And after he handed it…

“She disappeared. Never saw her again,” Cannon said.

Cannon’s story is not unique. Deidra Stevens told Gray she’s been fighting for years to get $1,200 back. Stevens said she never received service and hasn’t seen a dime.

Joseph Gadson said his late mother requested service from Don’s Tree Experts at her house, also in DeKalb County. Since her passing, Gadson has taken over the property and is fighting for his mother’s money back.

Gadson said it’s been a long process.


“Weeks turned into months, months turned into years, and nothing has been done,” he said.

The owner of Don’s Tree Experts, Angela Hodges, has been arrested in multiple counties. There have been at least 40 civil cases against Hodges in magistrate court over several years.

Her company’s name is very similar to another legitimate, highly rated, long-time tree removal business named Don’s Tree Service.

Doni Jones runs Don’s Tree Service. Jones started the business 23 years ago.

For the last decade, Jones said she’s received phone calls from customers like Cannon, who believed they were calling her business to do work.

“We hear the stories because they’ll call us when they can’t get that other person on the phone,” Jones said. “You see someone get taken advantage of like that and to know there’s a possibility they think you may be involved in that. It’s frustrating.”

Hodges appeared in court in Gwinnett County on February 6, 2023. She’s facing criminal charges. Hodges maintained a not-guilty plea.

Hours before the jury was to be selected, it was postponed.

Homeowners told Channel 2 Action News that Hodges has been in and out of courthouses for years, but they said she keeps finding a way to sign up new customers.

The district attorneys in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties declined to speak with Channel 2 Action News due to open cases.

Gray asked Pete Skandalakis, long-time district attorney and director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia about cases like this.

“You have all of these victims, and you see a pattern. You see a practice. Once you see a pattern and practice, you know this person’s a career criminal and you have to make your community safer from this person,” Skandalakis said.

Hodges would not talk to Channel 2 Action News for this story, but those who spoke about their cases say they just want to prevent others from falling for the same scheme.

The Gwinnett County felony case against Hodges is scheduled on the calendar for later this month.

The DeKalb County District Attorney told us in a statement, their case which dates back four years now “remains under active investigation, though a charging decision is imminent.”


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