Belmont neighbors say tree cutting now endangers their homes

Belmont neighbors say tree cutting now endangers their homes

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC CHARLOTTE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 19 at 4:08 AM

BELMONT, N.C. -- People living in one Belmont community are frustrated that the beautiful trees lining their streets were hacked apart.

A spokeswoman for Duke Energy said they cut the trees in response to a community outcry after several recent outages blamed on falling trees.  But people in the Adams Bluff neighborhood say the power company created an even bigger danger.
 
“It’s really sad, it’s really sad to look up there and see that,” said Angela Drum.

Once beautiful trees are now literally half the trees they once were.

Duke Energy said they brought in tree trimmers in response to a community outcry about power outages in recent years caused by fallen trees.  Ace Gaker lived a week without power during the ice storm and understands why the trees were trimmed, but most of his neighbors are less understanding.

“I understand they have to keep their power lines free but I don’t know if they had to do that much, as much as they’ve done up there,” Drum said.

They worry the trees could now fall on their homes instead of the power lines because the trimming has put all of the weight on one side of the trees–the side that leans toward their homes.

“Now that tree is so weak that limb could easily fall,” Haley Malton said.

Some people are doing the only thing they think they can—knocking the trees down completely and replacing them with smaller trees.

The Duke Energy representative said after hearing community complaints, someone from the company went out to the neighborhood to see the trees in person and says the tree trimming was done in accordance with what arborists suggest.

NBC Charlotte is still waiting for Duke Energy to respond to neighbors’ concerns that the trees could now fall on their homes.

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