Starting at the end of January, Asplundh, the multi-capable landscape maintenance company usually seen in town helping clear downed trees after past storms, was put to work by Eversource trimming and felling trees that would threaten their power lines in future storms. As announced in a Town press release, Eversource selected certain regions for the work, which is part of a company-wide program to reduce the damage from wind and ice storms. Such action was required in the State’s settlement with Eversource in the lawsuit following the recent storm that caused so many outages. Work had been underway for some time along North and South Main Streets even before the Town’s published announcement with a map of the areas involved.
On January 31, eight two-man teams came to town with their bucket trucks and chipper trailers from Asplundh’s regional depot in Granby. Two teams concentrated that day on the perimeter of South Green, where selected trimming was done, but no major tree removal. One of the lead men explained that they were removing anything within eight feet of the power lines.
It was interesting to watch the trimmers at work wielding an array of different size saws, including a small saber saw, hand powered, and a chain saw at the end of a long pole — strong arms for that one! And the chippers had no problem noisily devouring large chunks of limbs. The chips were shot into hoppers on the bucket trucks.
While most of the “vegetation management” (Eversource’s term for the program) addressed trimming, entire trees were removed as well, sometimes on private property. Asplundh had sent scouts to plan the work and discuss the removals with the owners. A large fraction of the work involved trees on State and Town property.