Neighbors upset by electric cooperative's tree-cutting

Central Electric co-op clearing right-of-way

Luke Wieberg, 21⁄2, watches out the sliding glass door as men in yellow hard hats cut down the tree that used to hold his swing. Through the years, it has been acceptable to have the pine tree trimmed to keep it safely out of the overhead power lines, but now the Wiebergs have been told it has to come down completely, much to Luke’s dismay.

Luke Wieberg, 21⁄2, watches out the sliding glass door as men in yellow hard hats cut down the tree that used to hold his swing. Through the years, it has been acceptable to have the pine tree trimmed to keep it safely out of the overhead power lines, but now the Wiebergs have been told it has to come down completely, much to Luke’s dismay. Photo by Julie Smith.

Each morning for the past couple weeks, toddler Luke Wieberg has walked to the back glass door in his home to see if the trees are still standing in his back yard.

“Are they going to push down our trees?” he recently asked his mother, Jessi, who cried as she recounted her 21⁄2-year-old boy’s concern.

Luke’s routine started when his mother told him that someone planned to cut trees down in the backyard of their home at 5211 Old Lohman Road.

That’s when a contractor for Central Electric Power Cooperative told Wieberg and her neighbors that they planned to remove trees within 50 feet of each side of the company’s power line over their homes. Any trees that are 12 feet tall or have the capability of growing that tall are being cut down.

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On Wednesday, the power company started following through with its plans, over neighborhood objections that the tree-cutting plans were excessive.

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