National Grid to Inspect Trees Along North Street for Hazards

We are circulating this announcement at the request of Kyle Andrejczyk, a member of National Grid’s Hazard Tree Mitigation Program:

Greetings All,

My name is Kyle Andrejczyk and I am an arborist with National Grid’s NE Hazard Tree Mitigation Program–a multi-year reliability improvement initiative. The intent of this program is to reduce power outages by identifying circuits that have had a high number of tree-caused outages and performing tree-by-tree inspections along the “main lines” of these circuits in order to identify hazardous trees. By hazardous I mean trees that are dead or dying, have serious insect or disease problems, or structural weaknesses such as hidden decay, splits, cracks, or weak limb attachments, and are therefore much more likely to fail than a similar tree without those defects. We would like to trim or remove any trees meeting this criteria in order to reduce or eliminate the chance of their failing and causing a power outage.

This program is different from the routine trimming you’re probably used to seeing in that we’re looking outside of the routine trimming zone (imagine a roughly 10′ circle around the wires) for problems that are not normally addressed. Research has shown that the majority of tree-caused outages come from outside of this trim zone, i.e. part of or a whole tree falling onto the lines. This is the problem we are looking to address.

One of the main lines I am inspecting this year happens to run along North Street. I have not yet begun my inspection in your neighborhood and would like to reach out to you folks first to make you all aware of what we are doing just so their isn’t any confusion.

As I’ve said, I will perform a tree-by-tree inspection along North St and tag any trees that have severe enough defects (rot, disease, etc.) Trees that look as though they could be trimmed to reduce any hazard to the power lines (such as a dead limb) will be marked with a blue tag. Trees that have more severe defects that trimming can not address (such as being dead or if more than half the base is rotted let’s say) will be marked with a red tag for removal. If the tree is on private property the homeowner will be permissioned. If the tree is within the public right-of-way and therefore owned by the city, the abutting homeowner will be permissioned as well. Also, in compliance with M.G.L Chapter 87, we will hold a public hearing in conjunction with the city’s Tree Committee regarding the removal or trimming of all public shade trees. Cleanup will be discussed with all property owners and abutters whose trees we work on. We will remove all wood & brush from the site unless the owner wishes to keep either for personal use. We flush cut stump as close to the grade as possible but we do not grind stumps. All work will be done and paid for by National Grid at NO COST to property owners or the city. We do not replace trees but the city, by participating in this program, is eligible for grant money specifically for tree plantings.

To be clear, no work will be done on a tree without the written consent of the homeowner and/or the city.

To give you all a bit of my own background, I have bachelor’s in arboriculture & urban forestry from Umass and am a Mass. Certified Arborist (#2292). I have been doing this hazard tree work for the company for a couple years now. I inspect and evaluate all trees as objectively as I can based on accepted research and my own experience. When its possible to trim a tree to mitigate the hazard, that is what I will recommend. However, if trimming is unethical in that it leaves a problem for the homeowner or the city, such as leaving a large dead or rotted portion hanging over a house or the road, I will recommend a removing the tree. I will also recommend a removal if trimming would remove such a large portion of the crown as to kill it or send it into decline. I also recommended removals when trimming can not address the problem, such as if the tree is uprooting or if half the base is rotted away–in these cases the tree will break at ground level and no amount of trimming can really address that. In any case I will gladly meet with homeowners to discuss any proposed work. I think this covers just about everything, but if you folks have any questions please feel free to contact me at this email or my cell: 508-340-9369 (Mon-Thurs).

Thank You,

Kyle Andrejczyk
MA Certified Arborist (#2292)
NE Hazard Tree Mitigation Program
National Grid
C: 508-340-9369
F: 508-860-6616