Don't Want Oncor Tree-Trimming? Go Underground

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010  |  Updated 6:26 PM CDT
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Saving Trees from Saws

NBCDFW.com

Oncor can bury or move power lines to keep them away from trees -- for a price.

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Saving Trees from Saws

Oncor offers programs that can save trees, after customers accused the company of butchering trees near power lines, but it'll cost you.
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Many homeowners complain that Oncor Electric Delivery "butchers" trees during trimming, but there is a way to save trees from saws.

Fort Worth customer Herb O"Dell said he became worried about his mature trees after he saw results of nearby trimmings.

"It would be terrible," he said. "I'm not going to be here long enough to see another tree grow like that, and if there’s any way that we could work something out with Oncor, it would be nice."

Oncor will bury lines or move them to different poles at the customer's expense. Depending on the job, it costs anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

"We've already spoken with him, and we will have a plan prepared for him to look at and make a decision which way he wants to go," Oncor spokeswoman Carol Peters said.

The company is also offering a test program in the Lakewood area of Dallas that lets customers hire Oncor-approved tree trimmers to do the work more often. In return, the trimmers are allowed to take less growth off the tree.

"Oncor understands that trees are important to consumers, and we're listening to customers," Peters said.

Normally, Oncor hires contractors to trim trees near power lines.

O’Dell said he hopes to find a way to keep Oncor-hired trimmers away from his trees.

"The trees are probably saving me $40 or more a month just to shade the house," he said.

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