First Selectman Mack and Highway Foreman Mark Cervione recently met with the Helena B. Spencer Tree Fund Committee to address concerns regarding Eversource tree work, along Main Street in particular. The Tree Fund is charged with the planting and care of shade trees along roadways and streets in Suffield. Asplundh, the tree contractor hired by Eversource, attended the meeting and provided clarification.
The goal of tree trimming is to remove potentially hazardous trees/branches in order to ensure reliable electricity delivery by preventing electrical outages. Every road with electrical poles is subject to tree trimming. Routine tree maintenance is performed year round while “Enhanced Tree Work” takes place every four to five years. In order to preserve scenic roadsides and minimize damage, “Enhanced Tree Work” encompasses approximately six (6) miles per year within a 45 mile circuit. Clearance specifications state “eight (8) feet from electrical equipment, from the ground up. Tall-growing trees under the wires will be removed.” “Enhanced Tree Work” can only be performed once with trimming of regrowth and the removal of any dead limbs part of the ongoing maintenance. Roads in Suffield currently being enhanced include South Grand and Ffyler. South and North Main, including the Town Green, will be trimmed only.
Property owners are notified in advance of tree work. No tree can be removed until the abutter provides signed consent regardless if the tree is on town or state property. “Critical Trimming,” however, DOES NOT require consent and is described below:
“In the event that trees or brush are in direct contact with power lines, or have visible signs of burning, Eversource may remove the vegetation without notification or consent – to protect public safety and system reliability.”
Asplundh emphasized the desire of both Eversource and Asplundh to work with property owners and communicate tree work effectively via the following steps:
- Asplundh determines tree’s risk (based on species, location, health, etc.)
- Tree is tagged with white marker if it needs to be removed; no marker if just trimming
- Homeowner notified via hangar on front door
- General questions? Contact Mike Asplundh (860) 936-8099
- Questions regarding trees hanging over public right-of-way:
- Along town road, contact Suffield Tree Warden (Michael Turgeon 668-3340)
- Along state road, contact:Department of Transportation (DOT), Commissioner’s Office, 2800 Berlin Turnpike. Newington, CT 06131
- Homeowner consents by signing form and returning in hangar on front door
- Tree is tagged with orange marker if approved to remove (stump grinding not included)
- Refusals to remove trees:
- If deemed “Critical Trimming,” Asplundh provides picture to confirm tree hazard
- Property owner provides written submission of refusal within ten (10) business days
- Trees on town roads – submit to Suffield Tree Warden
- Trees on state roads – submit to DOT
- Tree Warden or DOT reviews refusal and renders written decision within ten (10) business days
- Resident and Eversource may both further appeal to state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) within ten (10) business days
Residents are encouraged to visit www.eversource.com for additional details regarding Tree Trimming and to find a list of trees for planting compatible with utility lines.