Backlash Over Tree Removal To Upgrade Infrastructure

Hydro One is relocating approximately nine kilometers worth of power lines and has decided to remove trees to deal with the infrastructural nightmare. Understandably, local residents in Manitoba are upset about the approach. Many of the trees are over fifty to a hundred years old, according to Councilor John Wright. There was no public notice,” Wright recalls, “my phone never stopped all day.” The municipality seems to have missed out on informing its residents of the intention to remove the trees. Locals are indignant about the lack of foresight and condemn the actions. Local administration seems adamant to ensure that the removal process continues, despite the outcry from the residents. Hydro One has halted removal in the face of the issue while local authorities deal with the town.

Infrastructural Upgrades Are a Necessary Evil

Bruce McAllister, the general manager for community development of the area, notes that this type of work is sometimes necessary to facilitate infrastructural improvements. “This type of work is exempt under the current tree bylaw. Work within a municipal right-of-way and work (with) a transmitter like Hydro One,” McAllister notes. The trees being removes fell into the right of way, and the claim is that the company wouldn’t harm those that fell outside of that narrow area. Hydro One notes that the area’s electrical infrastructure was first established here some sixty years ago and needs a complete upgrade. “Crews are replacing approximately 125 poles and are relocating the line to improve power reliability for residents and businesses in the area by making it easier for crews to access the line,” stated the company in a press release.

Maybe Relocation Is an Option?

Trees are a significant part of the environment around us. Science Focus mentions that it takes as much as seven or eight trees’ worth to produce enough oxygen for a human being to breathe per year. Moving trees, therefore, is far better than knocking them over. However, in doing so, great care must be taken not to damage the root system since it could destroy the plant. In this case, the company simply intends to remove the overgrowth to continue its line maintenance. Unfortunately, this has angered many residents who are trying to stop the tree removal or at least relocate the plants to somewhere else. Local administrators claim that a third of those trees would have to be removed anyway due to public safety.

Local tree-trimmers may be more skilled in pruning and removing trees to limit the impact on the local region. Companies like Smith’s Tree Removal provide a safe and efficient option for removing or relocating trees. Of course, Hydro One has the right to move their lines and infringe on the treeline, but the local residents, who have lived there for years, should also have a say in what is done. The environment is everyone’s problem, after all. Hiring a contractor for relocation might be an option the company can explore, although local administrators don’t seem to care what the residents think.