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WUNC reports from Greensboro about Guilford County and surrounding area.

Greensboro Resident Still Upset Over Tree Trimming

Stumps like this one have become more common in Greensboro neighborhoods. Duke energy says it cuts when necessary. Residents think the company is being too aggressive.
Jeff Tiberii

Greensboro residents are upset with Duke Energy again over its tree trimming practices in the city, this time because of pruning around major transmission lines. Concerned locals are taking to Facebook and asking local leaders to do more.

At the end of 2012, Duke’s subcontractors cut down dozens of trees in residential neighborhoods sparking outrage. Many home owners were upset over what they called aggressive cutting, as well as a lack of communication by the company. The City Council created a subcommittee to draft a tree ordinance and Duke stopped residential trimming for the time being. Council members initially said an ordinance would be ready by February, but that has now been pushed back until at least May.

“I will assure people that we have been working on this very hard, the City Council Subcommittee on trees has been working very hard. Nobody is dragging their feet. We don’t want to see the devastation that we’ve seen over the last week and a half,” said Council member Nancy Vaughn.

What began a couple of weeks ago was cutting around major transmission lines along major thoroughfares in Greensboro. Vaughn calls that move by Duke “tone deaf” after the response from residents. Trimming and cutting in those areas falls under federal regulation and wouldn’t be affected by an ordinance. Duke maintains that is cuts only when necessary. The company says it primary areas of focus are safety and providing reliable power. Duke says the most recent cutting was required to protect transmission lines that provide power to the city of High Point. 

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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