Eversource to trim trees along 116 miles in Greenwich

March 14, 2019 GMT

GREENWICH — Eversource Energy is launching a large-scale tree maintenance program throughout Connecticut, with heavy work scheduled for Greenwich.

The utility will perform tree trimming along more than 4,000 miles of overhead lines in the state, covering 130 municipalities. Greenwich, where 116 miles of electric lines will be cleared, was noted as a place where “some of the most extensive work will be done.”

“This is our standard tree trimming work that we do throughout the year,” Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross said Wednesday. “We wanted to make this annual announcement so our customers and the towns we serve know what’s happening.”


Over the course of the next several days, Gross said crews would be in Greenwich examining lines and potentially trimming on Indian Point Road, Willow Road, Taconic Road, Meadow Road, Mohawk Lane and Willowmere Avenue. He said he was not sure what future work would be done beyond those roads.

Crews are looking for tree growth or damaged trees that could present a risk to the power lines. Gross said those are areas where there have been reports of problems.

The utility will spend close to $83 million in 2019 for tree trimming and hazardous tree removal throughout the state. The is up from the $80 million that was spent in 2018.

“The long-lasting effects of the drought that plagued the region over the last several years, coupled with consecutive infestations by the gypsy moth and the emerald ash borer have weakened trees around the state,” Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Alan Carey said in a press release. “Removing hazardous trees is vital to ensuring our customers have energy for every moment of their lives.”

Eversource’s arborists “are experts at identifying vulnerable trees that threaten the electric system” and will would work with municipalities they are in to “carefully balance the aesthetics of neighborhoods and the need for reliability,” Carey said.

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy has taken exception to work by Eversource in the past, protesting that the company has cut down and trimmed too many trees. Conservancy President Cheryl Dunson said Wednesday that residents have a right to meet with the utility to negotiate what is done if Eversource wants to work on their private property.

Residents can refuse Eversource access to private property.

“When Eversource talks about safety, they’re talking about the safety of their power lines and not the safety of the public,” Dunson said.


The majority of the work will be on town-owned property. When Eversource sees a need for trimming on private property, it will notify owners, company officials said.

In recent years, Greenwich has been hit with powerful storms that have sent trees and limbs into power lines and leaving residents without electricity, sometimes for extended periods. Felled trees at times have cut off access to roads.

“There must be safety first along the major transportation and pedestrian corridors,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said. “We expect to be working closely with the utility and the local tree warden to balance safety, resiliency and aesthetics. Trees along major roadways and transmission lines can pose safety hazards.”

Dunson said that the Conservancy would like to see Eversource take more care in the pruning work it does so tree limbs that are a threat can be taken care of without damaging the tree.

“We would like to see them take the health of the tree into account when they do pruning,” Dunson said. “Some of the work they do can be damaging and diminish the life of tree if it’s not done carefully.”

Gross said Lewis Tree Service will be doing trimming work in Greenwich.

The utility reminded homeowners that they are responsible for tree maintenance work on their own property. Homeowners should be on the lookout for branches getting close to service wires connecting homes and businesses to main utility lines on the street. If that kind of work is needed, the company said homeowners should contact professional tree services to do the work.