Apalachicola, FL - Some residents in Apalachicola say they are frustrated with the way trees in the area have been cut down, and they're glad the city is listening to their concerns by placing a five month moratorium on tree pruning.
Richard Bickel says, "Some of these trees are 200 years old, and we just want some respect from Progress Energy. It's that simple."
Bickel says he understands the purpose of the tree trimming, but he thinks it's destroying the historic look of the town. He says tree service workers are going on many citizens property, cutting trees into very odd shapes and placing huge transmission poles in their yards -- making the city not very attractive.
"Trees make a community livable and, they keep the community on a living scale and when you start chopping trees down, you lose the ambiance of a town."
Progress Energy owns the power lines in Apalachicola and they've hired a separate company called ABC Professional Tree Services to prune trees. Bobby Pickels from Progress Energy says he understands the concerns of the residents, but the safety of the power lines poses an even bigger concern.
Bobby Pickels says, "So what's important for us to do is the balance the beauty of the trees with the need that we have to trim the trees and that's a task that's not always the most popular."
Pickels points out that if the trees continue to grow into the power lines, it can lead to power outages and a potential fire. Plus,he says it's even more dangerous for the workers who have to respond to power outages in the area if the lines are covered by trees.
NOTE: The city of Apalachicola held a meeting on Monday afternoon (12-6) to discuss tree ordinances and to hear comments and suggestions from residents about tree pruning. The city is still working on how they will manage the trees during the five month moratorium.