UI 'Enhanced Tree Trimming' Subject of Meetings

What Edwards Street in New Haven could look like after the tree trimming is done. Credit: New Haven Garden Club.
What Edwards Street in New Haven could look like after the tree trimming is done. Credit: New Haven Garden Club.

When a serious storm hits — be it a hurricane or blizzard — one side effect is often a loss of power. And few events anger residents more than a prolonged power outage.

And, according to United Illuminating, the main culprit in those outages is trees — both dead and live, positioned around power lines that come down when they do.

So in an attempt to mitigate future occurrences, UI is undertaking an Enhanced Tree Trimming for its Distribution Vegetation Management Program that will virtually wipe out many trees around power lines.

"UI has previously used U or V-shaped directional pruning to run wires through the tree canopy, and reports that it has worked well for average New England weather," acccording to the Garden Club of New Haven's website.

But, the Garden Club believes, the new program will radically change the landscape of the towns UI covers, including Ansonia, Bridgeport, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven and Woodbridge.

On its website, the Garden Club presents two pictures — one shot of Edwards Street in New Haven before the tree removal, and the second depicting what it would look like afterwards.

"Wholesale removal of healthy roadside trees imposes significant costs  on communities, their residents and businesses," the site says, "due to the loss of the benefits provided by healthy roadside trees."

There's no pledge from UI to replace the healthy trees it removes, it says.

And in Hamden, many are likewise upset at the prospect of the implementation of the program here. There are several meetings scheduled to discuss the issue, including one with UI officials.

The meetings include: 

  • Thursday, Jan. 9 the Whitneyville Civic Association will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Whitneyville Church, where the plan will be discussed;
  • Monday, Jan. 13 the Dunbar Hill Civic Association will host Jim Cole, the Director of Transmission, Distribution, Operations and Maintenance for United Illuminating, who will speak about the program.  The meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. at the Dunbar Hill Volunteer Fire Station, 420 Dunbar Hill Road.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 15 UI will host a workshop on the program at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Hamden Middle School. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place at Memorial Town Hall but has now been moved to the middle school. The public is invited and will have the opportunity to speak.

Have thoughts to share? Join the conversation in the comments or post to our Opinion board.
Susie January 05, 2014 at 11:56 PM
And yet as areas are "revitalized" i.e. Whalley Ave in New Haven, they continue to plant trees under power lines. I wish they wouldn't kill the trees that exist; just don't plant new ones under the lines. We NEED trees!
Thomas Alegi January 06, 2014 at 12:06 AM
All the trees in Hamden and in the state of CT should be trimmed or removed, if these trees put utility lines in jeopardy.
S. Mitchell January 06, 2014 at 09:00 AM
I think losing power is sign of inefficiency somewhere along the line. When it has to do with trees, it is clear there are varieties of trees planted that definitely do not belong near power lines. I LOVE trees. I believe people should plant varieties that are appropriate for areas of congestion and utility interference. I don't see a lot of that. Instead, I see people planting maple trees, white pine, Spruce and other varieties and NEVER conceiving the trees "need and deserve" a larger expanse of land to grow and thrive where they will not have to be eliminated because the person planting them didn't have a clue about trees. Developers should also be held accountable for foresting and de-foresting when they build. If we took greater care the tree lined avenues we love would thrive. There are many trees that do not exceed the height of power lines and utility companies would make great strides if they took the initiative to replant in areas where it's conceivable to do so using those trees.
J D C January 08, 2014 at 11:04 AM
You know WHY they dont Scott? The mighty DOLLAR. Ornamental Red Maples or flowering cherries or pears or ANYTHING other than most of the Maple genus and most oaks, cost significantly more money. So your partially right, somebody (who doesnt even know how far APART they should be planted either) is in charge of planting trees under lines that have a growth height expectancy of 60-100 feet, because they are the CHEAPEST ones! And THEN they "Martini Glass" them. Yeah, the "VEE" or "U" shaped "DIRECTIONAL PRUNING" is nothing but BUTCHERING them, they leave them looking like martini glasses! They may as well just REMOVE them at that point. In actuality it could cost MORE to "prune" them that way than it would cost to take them down, if done by a private company who if legitimate, would ADVISE a homeowner to take the tree down instead of martini glassing it, which as far as I know ISNT a recommended "technique" in the "Joy of Pruning" book! LOL have you EVER seen or heard of anybody WANTING a tree in the middle of their yard "pruned" that way? . Moral-they SHOULD have been taking them DOWN a long time ago instead of making glass shapes out of the poor trees that looked like crap when they were done and left SEVERELY vulnerable which actually DEFEATED the point in the first place! JOB SECURITY, hahahahahaha
Avery Schlacter January 27, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Thanks for this I've been looking into some tree trimming services around my house just in case something like this happens! My friend recommended I check out this place <a href='http://shadywoodtreeexperts.com' > http://shadywoodtreeexperts.com </a>.
J D C January 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM
Avery, as long as they are insured properly, have references if you ask, come recommended by someone YOU know and or have an arborist on staff ( not a necessity but YEARS doing it counts) they should know what they are doing. And just because they are reputable doesnt mean they should charge an arm and a leg either. I dont know Shady Wood but the only way you'll have peace of mind is to call and have them come over.
J D C January 27, 2014 at 02:07 PM
And Avery you probably already know this but call more than one or two. Oh and make sure that IF they are going to be working around the service they are certified to do so.
Avery Schlacter March 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Thanks for sharing this with me. I've been looking for a service that can help me remove a stump in my driveway. My friend said I should try checking out this site. <a href='http://www.jandjtreecare.com/services/tree-pruining-trimming/' > http://www.jandjtreecare.com/services/tree-pruining-trimming/ </a>
alena mauer April 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Last time a storm hit my area it was pretty bad. Tree branches and debris were everywhere. I was glad my trees survived the hit. Alena | http://www.jttree.com/Tree_Pruning_Los_Angeles_CA.html


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