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      Xcel Energy keeps power lines clear to avoid power outages

      It ' s not unusual to see workers trimming trees or cutting them down around Amarillo. Asplundh Tree Expert Company is contracted by Xcel energy to maintain the area around power lines.

      Kory Brown, Amarillo resident, got a letter from the company saying that a tree in his front yard needed to be cut down. Brown was upset from the letter because it provided no explanation or an alternative. The tree isn't tall enough to even touch the power lines yet.

      Xcel said faster growing trees need to be taken care of before they start getting into the power lines. Asplundh maintains the power lines all year long to make sure that there are no complications when severe weather comes.

      "When we have winter weather. Wet, heavy snow can cause these branches to impact the lines. Not only affect your home but it can affect your neighbors for blocks around you ," said Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy.

      A splundh was trimming the trees in the all e y behind Billy Fred Jones' home today.

      "I don't like it that much because we have pecan trees back there and to fill out on that side in the alley on that side of the fence. They cut them back a little too short but you know, I realize they probably have to do stuff like that," Jones said.

      Xcel says most of the trimming usually occurs in alleys , similar to the ones behind Jones' house . Customers that are concerned with any of the work can call Xcel and meet with them.

      "In an area where trees are somewhat rare, we do respect and love our trees. So we don't want to needlessly take away any of that. but we do have to consider the greater good and that's to keep the lights on ," Reeves said.

      Reeves also urges people to not attempt to trim the branches around power lines themselves. Instead, they should contact Xcel at 1-800-895-4999.