The entire town was in an uproar over the method Duke Energies used in trimming the limbs from the pine trees near the college. (See my post on March 30) The college administration, the students, the residents of the street involved and people like me who drive by there often voiced their opinions about the appearance of the trees. Homeowners on the street felt the appearance devalued their property.
So, almost a month after the unsightly trimming, the college asked Duke Energies to come back and cut the trees completely down. I happened to drive by the day Duke Energies began removing the healthy trees.
The remaining limbs were sheared off and the trees were cut down in long sections.
Here is the work in progress
Log piles followed in the wake of the chainsaws
The trees are completely gone now. It's rather sad to see that a parking lot is more attractive than the sheared trees Duke Energies originally left standing. The PR person from Duke explained that what they did was perfectly within their authority and guidelines. And that is probably so, but it did seem extreme to most of us who thought selective trimming might have been more reasonable. I strongly suspect the college was not aware of the extent to which Duke planned to trim the trees. I think they would have opted for removal from the beginning had they been aware.
Everyone agrees that a stand of pine trees was not a good idea in the first place. So while no plans have been published, the college will likely plant trees that will not grow so tall and wide as to be a problem for the power lines.Whatever the college decides, the result is almost certainly going to be more attractive than the pine trees totally sheared on one side.
In our community, all the power lines are underground and all trimming is done by our own maintenance crew. Trees are trimmed only when they place some danger to pedestrian or automobile traffic. But the mayor and city council do not believe there are sufficient funds to bury the power lines in town.