By now you have probably heard that about 100 trees will be chopped down in North Dallas, trees that line the Dallas North Tollway on the eastern side from Forest Lane north for about a half mile to Harvest Hill Road. All sorts of varieties, too, pines, live oaks — good trees. For 30 years these trees have created a nice buffer between the Dallas North Tollway and the backyards of the folks who live on Quincy Lane in Melshire Estates.
So why are we doing this?
The trees are going to be cut down by Oncor to replace old transmission towers with spotless new towers, because we are sucking so much energy. There is an increased demand for power in this city — one of the many side-effects of our gleeful growth. (And you want Amazon?) Robert Wilonsky over at the Dallas Morning News heard about the Quincy Lane tree-ectomy from homeowners on that little street whose western edge backs right up to the Dallas North Tollway. The trees, writes Robert, are on Oncor’s property, since they own an easement behind the homes, abutting the Tollway.
The trees have to go because they will make it too dangerous for the electrical upgrade work, which might involve helicopters. They are on Oncor’s property, and state law says Oncor can cut down any tree it wants if it interferes with utility equipment.
“That line isn’t just about the customers on Quincy that like the trees on Oncor right of way,” said Oncor spokesman Geoff Bailey, who also serves as CEO Allen Nye’s chief of staff, “but the hundreds of thousands of customers those lines serve.”
Bailey said, yes, this is all very “unfortunate” and “we understand the passion about trees.” But he said that verdant buffer must go to make way for construction equipment, including, likely, helicopters. They are dangerous, too, he said, as they begin growing toward the power lines.