For many Pepco customers, the stress relief that came with a comparatively mild winter has been replaced by consternation about trees.
In the past year, the area’s largest power company has devoted unprecedented resources to trimming and removing the kinds of trees that have compromised power lines during major storms in recent years.
But those efforts have been controversial, lauded by some residents as long overdue and loathed by others who fear the loss of natural beauty and damage to the environment.
Government leaders in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and the District said in interviews that their constituents are largely pleased Pepco is working on improving reliability. But some residents remain concerned about how aggressively Pepco is pruning, trimming and removing mature trees near their homes.
“They set it up as a choice: power or trees?” said Darian Unger, a Silver Spring resident whose neighborhood has lost multiple trees at the hands of Pepco contractors in recent weeks. “But it’s a false choice.”