After SoCal Edison trims trees along power lines in Mission Viejo, residents call it excessive

Last week, Mission Viejo residents in Aegean Heights were told Southern California Edison would be trimming trees behind their homes along the power lines.

"I asked really specifically, are you taking the trees down or are you trimming them? And they said they're just trimming them," said Beth Berman.

When the day came and the work was done, she and her husband Dan say it was excessive.

"To me, that's not trimming. Those trees never need to be maintained again because they're done. They're never coming back," she said.

"All the neighborhood kids have the opportunity to see the wildlife and that's kind of like - isn't that why we came to Mission Viejo in the first place?" her husband added

They were able to stop some of the trimming behind their home by talking to the contracted tree-trimming crew on site.

State regulations require SoCal Edison to trim or removes trees and vegetation so they don't grow or fall into high voltage power lines, which also helps prevent power outages.

"We're doing this work to keep communities safe during extreme weather events such as extreme wind events to prevent arcing and sparking on our power lines, or a tree branch from hitting our power lines, so this is being done to protect the public," said Reggie Kumar, a spokesperson for the utility.

Because it's a low-risk fire area, he says SCE typically trims six feet or greater, something that can be adjusted based on safety and reliability factors. While the Bermans understand that, they believe a better conversation needs to happen before anything's done to the trees.

"As Californians, we are tragically aware of poor power line maintenance, unfortunately. But the maintenance between six feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, this is not a high-risk area, so what was done is excessive," Beth said.

But not every resident agrees.

"I was happy to see them trim them back a little bit. I think everybody would complain if one of these branches took out our power," said Robert Govier.

SoCal Edison says it will continue to work with this community and the city to safely remove and trim trees in the future.
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