Eversource is investing $41 million in tree management across Massachusetts as part of a continuing goal to balance the need for electric reliability with the natural beauty that communities value.
“Massachusetts’ roadside forest is not only getting older, it continues to suffer the effects of a variety of environmental factors ranging from stronger storms and successive droughts to a growing list of insect infestations and diseases,” said Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Paul Sellers. “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.”
In addition to Eversource’s year-round vegetation management operation, the energy company will perform Resiliency Tree Work (RTW)—pruning and removing hazard trees that pose a threat to some of the most critical components of the electric system. Approximately $23 million of the total tree-trimming investment will be used for this specific RTW work throughout the state and Eversource crews closely coordinate all tree-trimming work with its municipal partners ahead of time.
“Eversource has been an integral partner in our effort to manage our hazardous trees throughout Town and their efforts and investment have proven to drastically reduce the number of power outages experienced by our residents,” said Norfolk Tree Warden Blair J. Crane. “The amount of work being done would not be possible without their resources and dedication to our community, and I am thankful that Eversource is very proactive with their vegetative management program and as severe weather events appear to become more frequent, I look forward to our continued partnership for years to come.”
“The expensive and complicated effort to mitigate storm related calamity by constantly removing hazard trees and vegetation is one instance that left undone, would impact Granville's infrastructure for months after a severe weather event and is an example of professional excellence that proves Eversource's commitment to superior customer service,” said Granville’s Tree Warden and Head of Public Works Doug Roberts.
Significant tree-trimming and RTW work is planned this year in Barnstable, Dover, Falmouth, Hopkinton, Marshfield, Medway, Norfolk, Plymouth, Sandwich, Wellfleet, and Woburn. An approximately $16 million investment in Western Massachusetts will allow crews to perform tree-trimming work along more than 700 miles of electric lines through Agawam, Ashfield, Conway, Lanesborough, Longmeadow, Springfield, Windsor, and West Springfield.