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"Park Board guessed wrong, so trees get whacked"

Original article found in the Star Tribune.

Trees all over the metro area are being pruned thanks to a park board which thought that they wouldn't be a problem when they grew. Several years ago, trees were planted all over the Minneapolis area in order to replace elm trees that had died of Dutch elm's disease. Many of those trees were planted very near or right under power lines. It was thought that in a few years all of the power lines would have been moved under ground. However, that is not the case.

Now Xcel energy has to begin pruning all of these trees in order to prevent damage to power lines and ultimetely, blackouts to citizens. So, Xcel is sending out people to prune the trees year round. Many of these trees are in such a bad position that they have to be cut drastically in order to prevent damage. However, this is not pleasing to those people who have to look at the trees.

Many are complaining that the trees are left looking terrible. Some pine trees are even having the top cut right off of them. But Xcel says in response to complaints that the trees have to be cut so much in order to prevent future damage.

The plan is to have 1.6 million trees pruned within 5 years.