Dallas woman climbs tree to keep Oncor from trimming it

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A utility company’s attempt to trim a more than 100-year-old pecan tree sent a Dallas homeowner climbing up it in protest.

Jeri Huber says the pecan tree is more than a hundred years old and feared it would die from too much trimming.

It wasn’t the first time the 67-year-old homeowner went out on a limb to protest the trimming of her pecan tree. She did the same thing a few years ago, carrying a pellet gun in hand. But on Monday, she lost her battle with Oncor. But she says she still has fight.

"I'm pretty determined,” she said. “This is wrong. It's absolutely wrong."

It's the second time in six years that she's perched in the tree in protest above Oncor and tree trimming crews at her Lakewood Dallas home.

"Look around. Look at my yard,” Huber said. “You see how hard I've worked at it? This is my property. They do not have a right to destroy people's property."

Oncor representatives and a tree trimming service showed up in her alley Monday morning. It's the utility company's policy to trim trees close to power lines every five years, keeping limbs ten feet away from primary lines.

Huber wanted Oncor to fix a slanted power pole and slacked lines first to ensure less of her tree would be cut.

"They were this close to my face and said, ‘We can come on your property and do anything we want to do. We have the right. We'll call the police on you,’” she recalled.

And Oncor did call the police, filing a temporary restraining order. Dallas County constables served papers to Huber that afternoon. At the same time, the tree trimming service returned and got to work.

"They have a right to keep tree limbs away from the lines, but not in such a manner that it destroys people's properties,” Huber said. “Where have our rights gone as property owners?"

Oncor released a statement saying in part that she threatened her safety as well as others and that they'd been working out options with her for months.

Huber has retained an attorney.