UI Tree Work Commencing

Town residents, especially those who live on Racebrook, Lambert, Orange Center, Grassy Hill, Old Grassy Hill Roads and feeder streets will likely be noticing a change in character to their streetscapes in coming months.{{more}}

An aggressive tree cutting and trimming campaign is underway by United Illuminating.

Other communities, including New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, Milford, Woodbridge, North Haven, North Branford, Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, Trumbull and Easton will also begin to experience similar disfigurement.

United Illuminating representatives from Lewis Tree Company have been knocking on doors and leaving information pamphlets asking homeowners to sign a slip either granting permission or objecting to the upcoming tree work. Objections will be taken under consideration by Public Utility Regulatory Authority at a future date.

According to a recent article in the New Haven Register the City of New Haven might lose close to 50 percent of its trees.

The UI management plan dated Nov. 11, 2013 page 9, states trees are the main focus of the trimming and removal. However, also included is the removal of other vegetation such as vines that climb the poles or guywires and, if left in place will extend onto the electrical wires, eventually causing outages. Additionally, trees on private property will also be subject to trimming and removal, even though they may be on private property. Some of the trees with parts in the utility zone (within 8 feet) may end up having too much of the canopy removed to survive or with the removal of limbs too big to heal causing a future problem. In these cases the trees will need to be removed.

United Illuminating Spokesman Michael West said it became clear that a more aggressive management plan needed to be implemented following the major storms the state faced last year when municipalities dealt with record breaking power outages for extensive periods of time.

“It was evident the majority of outages were due to trees, in fact 90 percent system wide,” West said.

Connecticut has the largest number of trees per square miles than any other state he said.