Eversource Investing $74 Million in Tree Management

From Eversource, Feb 3, 223

When the power goes out during a storm, it’s usually caused by trees falling on power equipment – and with the changing climate driving more frequent severe weather, tree trimming and removal near overhead lines is imperative to help fortify the electric system.

Eversource’s team of licensed arborists works year-round developing and implementing its comprehensive, data-driven maintenance program to enhance system reliability for customers.

This year, the energy company is investing $74 million in tree management as part of a continuing goal to balance the need for electric reliability with the natural beauty that communities value.

“Connecticut’s roadside forest is not only getting older, it continues to suffer the effects of a variety of environmental factors ranging from stronger storms and recent droughts to a growing list of insect infestations and diseases,” said Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Sean Redding.

“The list now includes beech leaf disease along with the familiar spongy moth and emerald ash borer that continue to take a toll on trees across the state, and there are no signs of the problem going away. That’s why our thoughtful program of identifying and removing weak and hazardous trees has never been more important. Tree trimming is one of the most cost-effective solutions to strengthening the electric grid, and we’re constantly working to improve day-to-day reliability for our customers as we continue to see fewer power outages where this work has been done.” 

To enhance collaboration on tree trimming and removal with the communities it serves, Eversource launched a “scorecard” program last year to share critical information on the reliability and public safety impact trees are having in their city or town. The energy company has provided the scorecards to each town to show the number of miles scheduled for tree work, how trees have affected electric service or caused blocked roads in that community and a thorough explanation of the scope and importance of work planned.  

Every year, Eversource trims or removes trees near approximately one-quarter of its more than 16,000 miles of overhead power lines around the state. This year, work is scheduled to be done along more than 4,300 miles of lines with some of the most extensive work being done in these communities:

  • Greenwich: 140 miles of electric lines
  • Manchester: 100 miles of lines
  • Newtown: 100 miles of lines
  • Redding: 98 miles of lines
  • Watertown: 92 miles of lines
  • Berlin: 80 miles of lines
  • Enfield: 80 miles of lines
  • Meriden: 80 miles of lines
  • Southbury: 80 miles of lines
  • Stamford: 80 miles of lines

Eversource always notifies customers in advance if tree work is necessary on their property. In addition to all the work Eversource crews do to minimize the effects of trees on reliable electric service, the company reminds homeowners that they are responsible for tree maintenance on their own property.

This includes keeping branches away from the lower-voltage service wires connecting their homes and businesses to the main utility lines on the street. Eversource strongly recommends contacting a professional tree service to perform this work. For details on the company’s comprehensive vegetation management program, please visit Eversource.com.