PG&E crews meant to cut East Bay trees met with resistance – NBC Bay Area

An East Bay neighborhood’s push to save some trees slated for removal by PG&E is ramping up.

Trees in a Lafayette neighborhood were scheduled to be cut down Tuesday morning, but PG&E was met with a new level of resistance. 

There was a chain link fence and “no trespassing” signs — keeping the tree crews out for now. 

“We’re fighting the fight,” said Lyndsey Brackley of Lafayette.

She and her husband are determined to do whatever it takes to save more than a dozen trees on their property marked by PG&E for removal. 

When crews arrived to cut them down, the couple and their attorney were standing by to square off. 

“I parked my big truck down there as another thing to keep them off,” said Brett Edwards of Lafayette. “We had a fence ready to go. We had chains, we have people that are willing to stick by us.”

Brackley said the trees have always been a part of the home she grew up in, and she says she’s not about to let them go. 

“I used to climb them. I had a playhouse that used to sit underneath them and I would try to reach the top of the trees with my feet when I’d swing,” she said.

“I love them, it’s our sanctuary we come home, we drive up our driveway, it’s home, it’s all that I’ve known since I moved here and it’s not OK for them to come in and clear cut all the trees,” said Edwards. 

But PG&E says the trees pose a safety risk. In a statement they said, “The trees in question are incompatible due to high voltage 115kV transmission lines in the area. We have a granted easement on the property and have determined removal of the trees is needed to ensure safety.”

But the couple hired an arborist who determined the trees can be pruned to maintain minimum distance requirements. 

“It is befuddling why PG&E wants to remove any of these trees,” wrote the arborist.

“They said not one tree should be slated for removal,” said Brackley.

The couple showed other areas nearby where similar trees under the same transmission lines are being handled differently 

“There are trees under the lines, the same species, the same power lines that are marked for trimmed and ours are marked for removal,” said Edwards. 

PG&E backed down Tuesday morning but the couple says they’re certain the crews will be back, and they’ll be waiting. 

“The trees aren’t going anywhere, we are not going anywhere,” said Edwards.

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