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Article Published August 7, 2019

A Very Large Problem

By Tom Banisch

In early April, we invited Chris Donnelly, the urban forestry coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Forestry Division to do a presentation to our Public Works and Grounds personnel about the various tree infestations in Connecticut. He came with some staff people and spoke about the threats presented by the emerald ash borer and gypsy moths as well as several other insects. This has truly become a very large problem.

Another part of the presentation was how to identify infested trees before they die so we can treat them or prophylactically remove them. Since then, we are getting feedback from our crews and working with Eversource and the state to alert them about problem trees within their jurisdictions. Eversource is responsible for trimming and removal of trees that pose a threat to power lines. The state is responsible for maintaining safe roads by trimming and removing trees in the state right-of-way.

Like the Town of Madison, Eversource identified this issue early on and requested additional funding last year to address the ongoing problem. Its expanded tree work was recently approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. This will help us in Madison in our efforts to maintain the town right-of-way, as Eversource will be taking trees that we might otherwise have to.

We have new tree wardens in the grounds department who are dedicated to getting ahead of the problem and working with the state and Eversource to address problems quickly. The town is responsible for trees in the town right-of-way, but with permission, homeowners can arrange to have work done, too. Calls about trees that may be of concern in your neighborhood should be directed to the Office of the First Selectman at 203-245-5602.

First Selectman Tom Banisch

Republican Tom Banisch is seeking re-election in the November elections.