Eversource plans to remove dead, hazardous trees
Environmental researchers and arborists around the state of Connecticut are working to raise awareness of the rapidly growing problem of dying, dead and hazardous trees.
Together with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and local tree wardens around the state, Eversource is addressing the diseased or dead trees that are causing/heightening concern.
The energy company’s team of licensed arborists are experts at identifying weakened or hazardous trees that have been killed or stressed by the ongoing insect infestations and drought and threaten electric reliability for customers.
“Our year-round work to trim trees away from powerlines and to remove hazardous trees throughout Connecticut is more critical than ever because of the lasting effects of the drought combined with consecutive infestations by the gypsy moth and the emerald ash borer,” said Eversource vegetation management manager Alan Carey. “In my travels around the state, I’ve seen the high tree mortality rate first hand. There are tens of thousands of dying or dead trees from the western side of the state to the eastern border that are weak and pose a real threat to the electric system.”
The concern about the large number of dead and dying trees also has the attention of researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and UConn. UConn Associate Extension Professor of Forestry, Thomas Worthley has extensively investigated the tree mortality epidemic in southern Connecticut.
“The massive amount of large, standing, dead trees throughout the area presents what could be described as a slow-moving environmental disaster,” said Worthley. “The number of dead trees that have the potential to affect roadways and power lines is beyond the current capacity of property owners and many town budgets to address.”
Eversource identified this issue early on and requested additional funding last year to address the ongoing problem. The energy company’s expanded tree work was recently approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). The additional funds will be used to hire additional crews to help remove significantly more hazardous trees at a faster rate.
“We have trees throughout the state that have been around for 100 years that are dying at rates higher than ever before,” said Eversource Arborist Susan Stotts. “When we’re out surveying, we look for trees with no or sparse foliage or large dead branches over the electric wires. Now we’re able to remove a lot more of those hazardous trees.”
For details on the company’s comprehensive vegetation management program, visit eversource.com/.