Woman protests as MLGW workers trim her tree - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman protests as MLGW workers trim her tree

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis woman mounted a small protest Tuesday against utility workers sent to cut down part of a beloved tree.
As tree cutters trimmed her huge willow oak, Eloise Wood sat on the ground in front of their equipment.

"I'm trying to stop this machinery from butchering a tree I've got," she said.

Wood claimed the tree was there when she moved into her Memphis home more than 40 years ago, and to her, it's like family.

"That tree they're cutting on right now is the oldest - second oldest Willow Oak tree in Memphis, according to the Botanic Gardens," she said.

Wood acknowledged she couldn't stop workers from cutting the tree, but said sitting in front of their equipment was her way of showing everyone how unhappy she was.

Some of her neighbors were unhappy about it, too. They brought Wood water to help her cool off while she protested.

"I believe she's got the right," William Guttenberg said. "It's her tree, okay? That's first and foremost."

But tree trimmers working for MLGW said trimming the tree was necessary to prevent limbs from falling and damaging power lines.

"Some people are real particular about their trees, and I understand that, but if they are near power lines we got to do our job," Gus Talley said.

Wood said police officers eventually visited her, and asked her to move, but she remained determined to get her point across.

"I guess (I'll stay here) until the police run me off again," she said.

Wood said MLGW tried to trim the tree five years ago, but she ran them off. Tuesday, they started while she was sleeping, and she woke up to the sound of the trimmer's saws.

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