Eversource reminds property owners of hazards from drought-stressed trees

Living in one of the most forested states in the country means Connecticut residents have a unique appreciation for the value of trees to the landscape. But it also means we understand the devastating impact trees can have on the electric system, with trees accounting for more than 40% of all power outages.

In addition to outages, trees can cause substantial damage to property if they fall. That’s why Eversource is reminding property owners to conduct routine tree maintenance and to consult with a licensed arborist for professional advice.

“Many portions of our service area have been experiencing a drought, which further stresses trees that may have also been impacted by insect and pest infestations over the past several years,” said Sean Redding, Manager of Vegetation Management for Eversource in Connecticut. “As a result, there is the potential for more tree and limb failures as we approach the winter storm season.”

Just as Eversource conducts routine trimming throughout the state for the safe and reliable delivery of power, property owners can help protect their home and the electric system by routinely trimming the trees on their property that stand near the power lines, but are located outside the company’s trim zone.                                              

The company recommends customers check outside their home for any trees or shrubs that appear weak or need to be trimmed, and contact a contractor qualified to trim vegetation if the trees are near power lines. Before any work is performed, be sure to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured, and complies with all applicable laws, codes, ordinances and/or permits.

“Failing trees or limbs may become dangerous with storm-force winds or the weight of snow and ice buildup, so it’s important to address them before the next severe weather comes our way,” Redding said. “Our tree trimming programs combined with routine tree maintenance conducted by property owners help to keep the lights on during storms, and keep our lineworkers and the public safe from hazardous trees.”

The following are important safety tips for property owners preparing to conduct tree maintenance:

  • Before starting any work, locate the power lines going to your meter and any that may run along the road.

  • Never attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines.

  • Deadwood is a naturally occurring hazard on some species of trees. Conduct a thorough visual inspection of what is above you before starting seasonal chores like raking leaves, and storing lawn furniture.

  • Hire an arborist to evaluate your property and offer professional advice and suggestions for maintaining your trees, similar to any other professional tradesperson.

  • Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified and licensed to trim vegetation around power lines.

When Eversource responds to restore service during storms and adverse weather, the company performs tree work to clear the power lines so that service may be restored. Property owners should be sure to plan for the cleanup and removal of any fallen limbs or trees.

For more information about Eversource’s scheduled maintenance trimming and tree trimming program, visit Eversource.com.