Cutting it close on Riverside Drive

By Perry Russom

June 3, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 12:57 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Residents near Riverside Drive are calling it a hack job and Mayor Matt Ryan said it's gone too far.

Trees in the West Side of Binghamton have been getting cut back for the past two weeks by NYSEG to clear branches from power lines, but residents said their decades-old trees are being decimated.

"I just drove through Riverside Drive and it looked like a tornado touched down," said Jane De Hawkhurst, of Binghamton.

"The leading cause of power interruptions is trees that come in contact with power lines," said NYSEG in a statement. "To help ensure safe, reliable service and to help minimize the inconvenience of power interruptions, we have a comprehensive vegetation management program."

Deborah Lockwood lives a block away from Riverside Drive and is doing all she can to save her tree.

She put two signs on her tree that read "Do Not Touch This Tree."

"That was for my own piece of mind," said Lockwood. "I thought if there was a sign on the tree, they would knock on the door and perhaps discuss the options with me."

"We provide advance notice of this work to our customers by postcard," said NYSEG. "Nelson Tree Service, the professional tree company that is conducting the work, then follows up with an additional contact. For those customers who are not at home, Nelson leaves behind a letter explaining the work.

Vince Kelley has dozens of logs sitting on his curb left by the tree company.

"If nobody takes it, I've got to do something with it," Kelley said. "It's just more work for me."

The mayor's office said the larger logs left by the tree company would be picked up by Public Works' Sanitation Division on yard waste pick-up days.

In a statement, NYSEG said they are working closely with public officials in planning the project, and all of the work should be completed by this month.

Ryan told the media late Monday he has a meeting with NYSEG on Tuesday morning to talk about the pruning.

Click here to see where NYSEG plans to prune