The "tree people" as they have been dubbed by my family have now been in the area for a few weeks. When they appeared outside my house, they said they were contracted to clear all along the roadside, eight feet back. We debated the merits of having them just cut down, but three or four cars a winter slide into that ditch, and I don't want any of them in my yard. I plan to look for saplings along the power lines in the spring, and plant them between the older ones. The older ones we'll cut when the saplings are large enough.
A few feet back, that is. And we hope to prune them, so that this needn't happen again down the road.
They do it to prevent power outages from wires being in the branches. The irony is, we never lose power, and last week (after the devastation) our power flickered off three times. Oh well.
For those who (like me) don't know, pines won't grow back where they have been cut. So these will be like this until we cut them.