Tree Trouble

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

"I'm absolutely livid," said Rockford Alderman Pat Curran.

Curran's anger stems from the current appearance of the trees lining his Rockford street.

"They might as well of cut them off at the trunk. It's just a matter of time before they die. I'm up to here with these guys," said Curran.

Crews contracted by ComEd recently trimmed several trees in Curran's neighborhood, but he says it was more of a hack job.

"They butcher trees and they butcher it because they say if we whack away on these trees we don't have to come back for six to seven years," said Curran.

ComEd told Curran they'd remove the tree and replace it. Curran says that's a waste of money and this tree he planted 30 years ago adds character to his neighborhood.

"We didn't clear off a cornfield and plant houses. All the neighborhoods in the older section of town have some character and integrity," said Curran.

ComEd says it follows federal standards to protect the public and keep the lights on.

"We do not have any assumption that the trimming we're doing is ornamentally attractive. We know that's not the case for a lot of the trees. They're just not the right kind of tree to be in contact with power lines," said ComEd Spokesman Paul Calligan.

Curran says ComEd should be following city regulations he helped write several years ago. The alderman says he's working with Rockford leaders to hold ComEd to the guidelines.

ComEd's Calligan says the company trims each tree every four years. He says the environment is important to the company and com ed has donated 3,500 trees to the community.


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