NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An agreement between Sen. John Carona (R – Dallas) and Oncor will soon change what some residents perceive as excessive tree trimming mandates on tree limbs that rest close to power lines.
Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina said details of the agreement will be revealed later this week. She did say that it involves a reduction in the amount of neighborhood tree trimming by nearly three feet.
Richardson resident Kristie Wyman said she knows the pain of watching her beloved cedar tree chopped down to size.
“I started crying when I realized what they were doing,” she said. “I just felt so powerless.”
Wyman said she spent $1,000 in August to have her backyard trees trimmed. But Oncor officials told her they needed to be trimmed back even more to meet the company’s requirements.
The company requires residential tree limbs rest at least 10 feet, four inches from all power lines.
Molina said the agreement calls for less trimming: Residents in North and Central Texas will be allowed to keep tree limbs within seven feet of power lines instead of the more restrictive current mandates.
Carona said neighbors who have battled to protect their trees will notice a drastic reduction in tree trimming.
“Though it’s a pilot program and we’ll be evaluating in the months to come, it certainly is a move in the right direction,” the Dallas senator said.
Molina said all non-emergency tree trimming by Oncor has been suspended until the full details of this pilot program are announced later this week.
Carona said the agreement also calls for adding cable shields around power lines. The plastic coverings are designed to reduce tree trimming in heavily wooded neighborhoods.