Well, it is happening.
BGE, in their understandable desire to keep us safe from extensive power outages caused by unstable, over-grown trees (and encouraged, we are told, by both the MD Public Service Commission and Homeland Security), is taking down my tall trees. Seven 100′ white pines and one (admittedly sad-looking) locust tree are being whittled to the ground for the betterment of mankind.
(A bad trade-off: earth vs fire. Nature vs civilization. We have to build a better way.)
Truth be told, these were the wrong trees in the wrong places. They were planted 50 years ago smack-dab under a large congregation of electric company and phone wires. Over the years, they became so entangled in them that segments of limbs grew right around the lines, so that even now there are sliced chunks of tree hanging from the wires like an arboreal charm bracelet.
While I am mourning the loss of my trees, I do understand the necessity of devising healthy systems that will allow nature and the built environment to co-habit better. Tall trees and overhead wires were clearly a match doomed from the start.
One answer, beyond the jurisdiction of this website and the BOP initiative, is advocating for more lines to go underground.
Another answer, somewhat within the jurisdiction of this website and the BOP initiative, is advocating for 2-for-1 tree replacement (to compensate both for the maturity lost that cannot quickly be replaced and the mortality rate of young trees). The BOP hopes to reach out to the local Forestry Boards, Depts of Natural Resources and the like to see if we can start a citizen’s campaign to mandate the replacement of the thousands of mature trees being cut down in this purge, perhaps through a private/public partnership. [Do let us know if you want to join us on that!]
A third answer, definitely within the purview of the BOP, is how we each replace our own trees lost in our bid to save our power.
Right next to my white pines, under the same wires, are four cherry trees. They are not coming down, because they are low canopy trees.
How brilliant: plant fruit trees under the power lines!
Not only do fruit trees often stay low of their own accord, they should be kept low to make harvesting and management easier.
So, come fall, I know what I will be doing – planting a tiny, homespun, home-grade orchard where the mighty pines once stood.