Trees and Power
Following the 2011 and 2012 storms that resulted in extensive long term power outages in Connecticut, the Garden Club of New Haven became concerned that the electric distribution companies would seek authority for both removal of healthy, structurally sound street/roadside trees and for overly aggressive pruning that would damage such trees. Under the leadership of member Mary-Michelle (Mikey) Hirschoff, as Spokesperson on Trees and Power, the Club has been actively involved at state and local levels in helping to achieve an appropriate balance between the need for power reliability and retention of the benefits of street and roadside trees. Given the economic, environmental, societal, health and aesthetic advantages trees confer, the club opposes removal of healthy non-hazardous trees. The club also recognizes that climate change makes a robust tree canopy even more essential to public health and safety, and power outages more frequent and severe, and thus supports undergrounding of distribution wires.
To contact the Garden Club of New Haven about trees and power issues, please e-mail GCNHtreesandpower@gmail.com.
Protecting the Trees
In support of its advocacy in the legislature, state administrative proceedings and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and to aid local communities and residents in protecting their tree canopies, Mikey has maintained a comprehensive website on trees and power covering:
- The Benefits and Care of Street Trees
- Utility Tree Pruning and Removal (focusing on how to protect roadside trees under CT law)
- Undergrounding of Distribution Wires
- Administrative, Legislative and PURA Proceedings