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The ugliness of it all - MessAge Media: Bob Statz

The ugliness of it all

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:30 am

Let’s pretend for a moment that every Minnesotan who has driven the state’s byways has seen this: along the roadside, pine and deciduous trees near power lines lopped off at the top or sliced vertically on one side in the ugliest fashion possible. 

Then, let’s imagine what exactly the instructions given to those in charge of trimming those trees were. 

A reporter for this Mille Lacs area newspaper paid a visit to a local power company tree-trimming crew to inquire as to what the intentions and protocols are with regard to their work. Here is what he found.

First and foremost, the trimmers claim the central reason for trimming trees near power lines has to do with public safety. Seems fair enough. 

The company employees explained that trees too close to power lines are susceptible to being blown down onto the lines by high winds and ultimately knocking out power. A power line going down could be costly to the company in terms of having to repair the damage and could inconvenience and even prove dangerous in some instances to their customers.

As for power lines being eaten away by rubbing against tree branches, the trimmers said that the fuse by the transformer on a pole would more than likely short out before any fire would take place. 

But the logical question then arises: if there is little to no danger of igniting trees from the power lines rubbing against branches, why shave the trees? And more precisely, why trim the trees in the ugliest fashion possible?

The trimmers the reporter talked to stated that much of the decision as to how they trim has to do with cost. They claimed that trimming branches from a pine or deciduous tree is cheaper than cutting the entire tree down at the base. 

And therein lies the rub for many – the visual blight left after the trimming. Ask most people who have witnessed the tree-cutting techniques used by power companies, and they will mention how repugnant the final product often is. 

One local electric company board member even mentioned to a Messenger reporter several years ago how embarrassed he was looking at some of his company’s trimmed trees left along the roads, mentioning in particular a row of pines along Hwy. 47 south of Isle on the way to Ogilvie. 

Maybe that board member ought to bring that issue up at an upcoming meeting and see if something might be done to improve the trimming blight. 

Just a thought.

To the electric company’s credit, they try to alert customers who may be affected by ensuing trimming in their neighborhood via a note in their monthly electric bill. 

And to be fair, many trees along power lines are technically on public land, not private, so the utility has the right to do as they please. 

Being a tree trimmer for an electric company is surely not the easiest job in many respects. It must be hard work physically. And to listen day after day to angry citizens who complain about what is left of the trees in their front yards after trimming cannot be fun at all. 

So to alleviate the pain for both the customers and those doing the cutting, let’s change the rules; let’s cut the entire tree down. 

No more lopping or shearing, because the results are most often an ugly sight to behold.

Bob Statz is a Messenger staff writer.


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  • fightinhate posted at 1:42 pm on Sun, Jun 16, 2019.

    fightinhate Posts: 295

    The angry Trump-supporter whitesplains it.

  • thinkbeforeyouspeak posted at 11:05 pm on Thu, Jun 13, 2019.

    thinkbeforeyouspeak Posts: 114

    And this is the ignorance, hypocrisy, and reverse racism that spews from 'fightinhate' continuously..... Because, you know, fightinhate has NEVER used electricity, EVER! SMH...…...

  • fightinhate posted at 2:35 pm on Thu, Jun 13, 2019.

    fightinhate Posts: 295

    This is an example of White people problems. Lol.


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