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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cutting Connecticut’s Trees Sparks Disagreement

By Jan Ellen Spiegel

www.ctmirror.org

Eric Hammerling has a bumper sticker on his car that says: “don’t blame the trees.” It refers to power outages   -– like the massive ones since 2011 after the tropical-style storms Irene and Sandy, and a variety of blizzards and nor’easters.

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Last week’s removal of trees at Westport’s Longshore Club Park did not involve potential power line issues but was highly controversial nevertheless. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Falling trees and limbs that took out power lines are most often cited for the outages, and the upshot has been a rush by utilities, the state Department of Transportation, municipalities and individuals to cut trees back and down.

“We can blame the trees,” said Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. “But it’s mostly on us for failure to manage our roadside trees for many, many years.”

The management of trees –- what, where and how much to cut -– has become contentious in Connecticut. It pits those who are most concerned about keeping the lights on against those who believe we are verging on literal overkill in taking down trees.

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01/29/14 10:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

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