PECO Plan to Replace Trees with Poles Sparks Nether Providence Protest


Wallingford and Swartmore residents are trying to keep PECO from cutting down or trimming a number of trees, some of them 250 years old, writes Jaclyn Lee for

Neighbors say the trees define the neighborhoods and hate the idea of looking out at utility poles instead of beautiful trees on their street.  

They argue that the loss of trees could affect property values and increase flooding.

“This is a battle for the soul of the town,” said Swarthmore homeowner Barbara Drebing. “It’s a David and Goliath story.”

PECO says it needs to take down trees to install taller utility poles.

In a letter to residents, the utility company said the work is part of a $1.36 billion dollar project and that the new poles and tree-resistant aerial wires will lead to safe and reliable service.

“This work is essential to enhancing electric reliability for our customers, and through this project, we will install new equipment to reduce outages and minimize the duration of outages that cannot be prevented,” PECO officials said in a statement.

PECO’s ReLeaf program plants one tree within the region for every tree removed for electric reliability maintenance.

Read more at about the tree dilemma in Nether Providence.