Entergy tree trimming to continue

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2008

NATCHEZ — Mayor Phillip West said he is confident Entergy is handling downtown tree trimming appropriately.

West toured town with Robert Clark, the supervisor of vegetation for Entergy for the State of Mississippi, Thursday to examine whether trees were being lopped off too severely to clear power lines.

“I went around and looked at various areas and for the most part things looked OK to me,” West said. “I didn’t see anything unsightly.”

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West said the majority of the meeting was for Entergy to explain what it is they are doing.

Approximately every four years, Entergy trims sucker growth from trees by power lines.

Sucker growth is what grows back on the tree since the last time the tree was trimmed, which was in 2004.

Despite many complaints about the trimming, Clark said Entergy does all it can to assure customer satisfaction.

First, this means calling the customers and placing door hangers letting them know that their trees will be trimmed soon.

“We give the public a fair amount of time if they have concerns to call us and we’ll be more than happy to resolve anything we can,” he said.

Clark said they’d only received a few calls about their work downtown.

“We were able to talk to the customers and resolve all of those issues with their satisfaction,” he said. “Everyone seemed to be pleased with what we’re doing.”

Clark said while the results of the trimming may look somewhat appalling at this point, it’s similar to getting a haircut.

“You get a haircut, you’ve got a shock,” he said. “Your tree is basically getting a haircut and it’s been four years since we’ve been here so it is kind of a shock.”

He asked that residents give the trim time, within a few months, the tree will begin to resprout.

Clark said the foreman of the trimming crew is told to be sensitive in cutting the trees.

Clark said some concerns about the tree trimming simple aren’t valid.

Some residents have expressed worries that trees cut during warm weather would leak sap, attracting insects and ultimately leading to disease.

Clark said trees are cut throughout the year, and these trees being cut now have been cut during warm weather before.

“If that were true, some of those trees would be dying and they’re not dying,” he said.

Entergy trimming crews will continue to trim trees in the downtown area until July or mid-August, Clark said.

Entergy will not touch the trees that are currently being trimmed again until 2012.