Eversource trimming large trees near CT power lines

Photo of Tara O'Neill
A file photo of a worker trimming a tree. Eversource will be trimming some of Connecticut's largest and historic trees as part of a new initiative in honor of Arbor Day, which is Friday, April 30, 2021.

A file photo of a worker trimming a tree. Eversource will be trimming some of Connecticut’s largest and historic trees as part of a new initiative in honor of Arbor Day, which is Friday, April 30, 2021.

Eversource / Contributed Photo

A new initiative, launching in honor of Arbor Day on Friday, will allow a team of arborists to focus on trimming some of Connecticut largest and most historic trees near power lines to ensure electric reliability, Eversource officials said.

Eversource’s team of arborists in Connecticut will focus on trees in Avon, Canton, Coventry, East Granby, Middlebury, New Milford, Old Saybrook, Portland, Scotland, Southington and Waterford. Eversource said the move is in partnership with the Connecticut Notable Tree Committee and the Tree Wardens Association of Connecticut.

The team focused on the project will address the condition of some of the state’s largest and historic trees near power lines that are part of a larger collection of 3,600 notable trees statewide, Eversource said.

“It seemed like a great thing to do to improve the health of all of these notable trees,” said Doug Pistawka, supervisor of vegetation management in Connecticut for Eversource.

Kevin Kelly, president of the Tree Wardens Association, said in a statement that this maintenance helps improve the overall health of a tree and increase its lifespan.

Pistawka said many of these trees are not cared for or consistently maintained. Pistawka said the utility company’s team of 12 arborists, who each cover their own territories, viewed a database provided by the committee and selected trees near the wires in need of trimming or other work.

Pistawka said other work can include removing invasive brush or vines around the trees.

“You’ll find dead branches on many of these trees, even healthy ones,” he said. “If you don’t prune it, it can lead to decay in the trunk.”

Trees statewide continue to suffer from the Emerald Ash Borer, gypsy moth infestations and drought conditions.

Eversource said it maintains a year-round tree trimming and hazardous tree removal programs to address any problems and reduce the number of tree-related power outages. The utility company said it plants thousands of trees across its service territory annually, and donates saplings to be planted in neighborhoods and public spaces.