Environment
5:28 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why Duke Energy Wanted To Add Chemicals To Trees, And Why They Won't

Trees in Chapel Hill,
Trees in Chapel Hill, NC
Credit Laura Candler

Officials with Duke Energy have decided to hold off on a program that would have used a chemical product, Cambistat, to slow the growth of trees near power lines. The utility planned to inject the application into the soil around trees.  The application would slow growth, reduce how often trees near power lines needed to be trimmed, and save money. But residents questioned the risks, and complained that they were being forced into the program. 

"We're pausing the program because of the feedback, I do hate that there is so much misinformation out there about this program. We never intended to force this application on to any property owner," said Paige Layne, with Duke Energy. 

She says the company should have done more than leave door hangers announcing the plan, but she says the chemical is not dangerous.  

"The product has been widely tested by the EPA has approved its use as has the state of North Carolina," she said Duke's initial plan was to let property owners with objections opt out of having their trees treated. Some residents in Greensboro were upset with Duke after what they felt was overly intensive trimming in December of 2012.