Around Connecticut, tree trimming harming town environments

We’re hearing reports of excessive tree trimming by utility companies from around Connecticut this week. CFE/Save the Sound intern Zac explores what’s happening to trees in his hometown. 

As a native to the Farmington Valley, I fortunately had the chance to grow up surrounded by all of the geographical appeals that draw new residents and keep old ones from leaving to Florida. The list of appeals, which are often taken for granted, is extensive and remarkable, including recreational opportunities in the Farmington River, myriad open spaces, and great Rails-to-Trails hiking locations and higher property values.

Tree cutting happening in Unionville, Connecticut. Photo from Leah Schmalz.
Tree cutting happening in Unionville, Connecticut. Photo from Leah Schmalz.

But much to my – and many of the town residents’ – dismay, Farmington is becoming a high risk town in terms of utility tree trimming.  Over the past year, Eversource has begun a plan to cut more than fifty miles of trees near utility lines all around the community! Without a doubt, some of this trimming is necessary in order to preserve electricity flows and prevent another major wreckage caused by the infamous October storm of 2011, particularly when trees are diseased or damaged. These hazardous trees need to be removed.

But many healthy trees are coming down too, and they’re in danger because the town of Farmington does not have a Tree Ordinance in place (i.e. a law that gives power to Tree Wardens to decide which trees are hazardous and therefore need to come down). This lack of an ordinance, which is a problem in other towns too, gives rise to indiscriminate cutting of healthy trees.

This is a serious problem to the residents of Farmington and towns across Connecticut because the removal of healthy trees hurts the environment, the aesthetic of our communities, and reduces property values.

So what can you do?

  • Ask your elected officials how they’re protecting trees in your community from unrestricted trimming
  • Contact your town’s tree warden and ask how he or she is protecting trees in your community
  • Take photos and videos of any tree cutting that may be happening in your community and send them to Zac (zzambrello@savethesound.org) with information about the location and time.

Posted by Zac Zambrello, intern at CFE/Save the Sound. 

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