New Englanders saw firsthand the massive devastation caused by Tropical Storm Isaias and the powerful microburst that struck the Branford area last summer – bringing down thousands of trees around the state. Those violent storms are a clear reminder of just how destructive trees can be to the electric system.
To help fortify the electric distribution system against such extreme weather, Eversource’s team of licensed arborists works year-round to execute its comprehensive tree maintenance program. In 2021, the energy company will be investing approximately $72 million in tree trimming and hazardous tree removal to enhance reliability for customers throughout Connecticut. Eversource also encourages customers to maintain trees on their own property that can interfere with electric lines or equipment.
“As we saw last summer during some severe storms, trees are the number one cause of power outages, and trimming trees away from electric lines and removing dead or hazard trees is critical – especially as fierce weather seems to impact our region more frequently,” said Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Alan Carey. “The long-lasting effects of drought and the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer infestations have severely weakened trees around the state. While we trim and remove hazardous trees every day along state and local roads, we can’t stress enough the importance of communities and customers working collaboratively with us to support these efforts so we can reduce the number of tree-related power outages.”
As part of its comprehensive vegetation management plan, Eversource will be trimming trees along more than 4,200 miles of overhead distribution lines around the state. Among the 126 communities where tree trimming will be performed this year, some of the most extensive work is scheduled to be done in Wilton along more than 131 miles of roads. Trees will also be trimmed along approximately 114 miles of roadways in East Haddam, 100 miles in Stonington, 96 miles in Tolland and almost 93 in Southington.
Eversource notifies customers in advance if work is necessary on their property.
As Eversource continues working to address the widespread tree mortality in Connecticut, the crisis is a shared responsibility between utilities and tree owners. The energy company reminds customers that homeowners are responsible for tree maintenance on their own property. That includes keeping branches away from the lower-voltage service wires connecting homes and businesses to the main utility lines on the street. Eversource strongly recommends customers contact a professional tree service to perform this work.