When Sarah Rosbach came back from her doctor's office, she noticed debris all over her neighbors' yards on Lyon Drive and that magnolia trees had been cut in half.
Rosbach lives on Banks Mill Road, which connects with Lyon Drive where the tree trimming took place.
While most of the ranch-style homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1950s after the construction of the Savannah River Plant, the magnolias stood there long before. Almost each piece of property has a magnolia tree standing in front.
But Rosbach said several weeks ago the residents received a notice SCE&G would be tree trimming. Most residents were not aware that after trimming, only half of the tree would be standing.
“Sometimes there are miscommunications on when we're picking up the debris,” said Robert Yanity, SCE&G spokesman. “We do the tree trimmings the best we can.”
Yanity said he understood when trees are first cut, it can look rather striking and be emotional for not just the company, but for the residents, as well.
“The company trims on cycles and what they are most concerned with is vegetation covering power lines, which could be potentially bad if strong winds come,” Yanity said. But Rosbach said residents were not aware a huge portion of the tree would be cut out.
“The part of the tree going toward the street has been pretty much all cut to avoid the power lines,” Rosbach said. “The part of the tree facing toward the home though is still standing. My heart just aches for those people. They just decimated the neighborhood.”
Rosbach said she realizes the company has to trim trees in case of strong storms. But she said taking out an entire side of the tree could probably have been avoided, and it's more than likely the homes will lose selling value if ever put on the market.
“Aiken is known for its trees, and Lyon Drive was known for its magnolias,” Rosbach said. “It's very upsetting.”
After looking into the issue, Yanity said crews would come out and clear debris late yesterday. To contact SCE&G, call 1-800-251-7234.
Maayan Schechter is a beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and she has been with the paper since July.
She has a degree in mass communications-journalism from the University of North Carolina Asheville.