Homeowners fume over tree pruning

June 25, 2013 5:07:55 PM PDT
A Durham couple is furious with Duke Energy Progress after they say the electric company butchered their landscaping.

Paul and Jane Mickey are upset because they spent three decades nurturing two magnolia trees at their home in the 2600 block of McDowell Road. Now they say the trees are ruined. One is even shaped like an "L."

"I call it the guillotine, just whoop and out," said Paul.

"I came out here and I just screamed at them," said Jane." I was just so angry because they have ruined our trees."

Duke Energy Progress says the tree trimming is part of their plan to keep the power on during storms.

"Trees are a beautiful part of the South, but they are also a leading cause of outages in the South," said Duke Energy Progress Spokesperson Jeff Brooks. "We'll go to make sure that the trimming that was conducted there was according to our trimming guidelines. Our practices are endorsed by national arborists and are generally recognized as the best way to maintain the health of the tree as well as to prevent safety issues on the line."

"They were just gorgeous," said Jane.

"The question would be how likely would they be to fall on the power lines," said Paul. "They've gone through a lot of storms. We've never had any damage from the magnolias."

Duke Energy Progress would not say what would be done if they did find wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the Mickeys have hired an outside company to come out and shape up their landscaping. It cost them more than $1,000.

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