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Resident upset over cut tree

A resident in the Ponderosa subdivision is upset that a local power company had his 35 year-old tree cut to meet right of way requirements.

Donald Johnson said he planted that oak tree about 35 years ago on the city right of way when he and his wife moved into their house on Hickman Avenue.

“There ain’t even been no outages out here because of that tree,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he used to work for a power company in New Orleans for 43 years, and he never saw a tree cut in such a manner. He is worried that the tree will not survive since there is only one limb left with leaves on it after it was cut last week.

Coast Electric Power Association Communications Specialist April Lollar said right of way clearing is necessary to avoid future power outages and protect against equipment damage.

“We don’t ever want to create more cost for us and for our members,” Lollar said.

Typically trees are cut 15 feet from under the line, if there is a communication line under the power line, such as telephone or cable, then the tree is cut an additional two feet under that line, Lollar said.

If the tree is a fast growing species then it may be cut down farther to compensate.

More information about the company’s right of way program and areas slated for right of way clearing can be found at http://www.coastepa.com/rightofway.aspx.