Kentucky Utilities is currently having contractors prune and remove trees in Fayette County. With around 24% tree canopy within Lexington, over pruning and tree removal is a risk we are currently facing. The reason KU is doing these removals is to protect citizens from electric power outages from tree limbs coming into contact with electric powerlines. There are two types of powerlines, distribution powerlines and transmission powerlines. Distribution powerlines are the electric lines coming to homes and businesses, usually on poles behind property, or along the road in front of property. Transmission powerlines carry high voltage electricity, and are connected to high metal towers that run over our streets, and sometimes through parks and neighborhoods. The current KU policy of enforcing new regulations pertaining to these transmission powerlines has become a major concern for many citizens, and for Trees Lexington! What prompted this concern was the removal of trees along South Pointe Drive, and the large trees cut through the KU right of way in Raven Run Nature Preserve. Of particular concern is how KU plans to deal with their right of way through Lansdowne-Merrick Park. In the fall of 2019 Trees Lexington! planted trees from our Pocket Nursery project in this park. A section of the KU right of way goes from our Pocket Nursery project in this park. A section of the KU right of way goes directly over a riparian zone behind homes in this neighborhood. The issue with these removals is that there are trees that would never impact the powerlines being removed. Also, with such little canopy in Lexington already it is important for concerned citizens to consider pushing for KU to sponsor plantings of trees outside of their easements to match the loss of trees they take down inch for inch. KU is planning to have a representative attend the next LFUCG Tree Board meeting. We will update is situation as we get more information from KU.
Greg Doyle member LFUCG Tree Board