Hurricane C L and P
A great venue for photo shoots.
The tree-line in better days.
When the cut limbs are cleaned from the bottom, there will be nothing left but empty space.
It's been a difficult day. I came home from a photo job and walked into a disaster going on in my back yard. I find myself sleepless at midnight thinking of how our rights as citizens have been violated. After Irene's wrath, we were relieved to find our ancient trees had been spared. Like everyone else, we cleaned up, helped our neighbors out and got on with our lives. On Miller road thankfully only one line had come down. The line that had fallen apparently goes into one, maybe two homes. So as a neighborhood, we fared well by comparison to many other places. I pulled into my driveway and heard the squeal of chainsaws coming from the vicinity of the backyard. We own two acres of land, one of which is field behind our home. The field has towering( I mean really towering) white pines that were planted years and years ago to act as a barrier to our neighboring properties. There are probably 20 of them. We have some great neighbors, but everyone likes privacy. Because of the trees, we had complete privacy from our immediate neighbors to the left and they from us. As the chain saws buzzed, I was presented with massive gaping holes along the entire tree line that had once been perfect. Branches were left on our side of the property, but approximately 60 percent of the rest of the trees' circumferences had been clear-cut sheered. The top 30 percent of each tree had been spared, but it looked obscene. For the neighbors, what had happened to their view of the towering pines was apocalyptic, as they left not a branch on the trees except for little tufts of of greenery capping the treetops. Aside from stripping our trees, almost every tree in their side yard was sheered or removed. Our side was spared slightly more, but not without extensive damage to the trees. I ran over to the neighbors yard in shock ready to tackle down anyone with a chainsaw. Let me give you a heads up that I am no tree hugger. Jeez, I couldn't tell you the names of most trees if I tried. But something had gone terribly amiss. As a verbal tussle volleyed back and forth, my neighbors just watched. While I believe they felt helpless against this apparent policy of CL and P, I was surprised at their complacency about the destruction. Did they not feel the same despair? After taking thousands of real estate photos, I can promise each and every one of them, that their home values have been greatly reduced today. One electrical line was saved that should have been buried underground anyway over the years. To add fuel to the fire, the culprit limb that had caused the fallen line wasn't even the white pine trees that were being punished. Rather, it was a dead tree that lost a branch in the neighbors side yard during the storm. Rather than cut a "C" along the electrical line that is customarily done in a situation in wooded areas, CL and P thought this was the best solution. We were never informed of their decision to do this so we could do our best to monitor and minimize destruction. By the time we got home, it was too late and the man suggested that "we build a fence". My neighbor did his best to comfort me in saying that our trees would begin to show recovery in about 2 to 5 years. I believe they may need a miracle to hold on despite their scars especially now that they are all weighted so heavily to one side. I realize that this blog is supposed to stay positive for a friend that has been sick. I try every day to see miracles in people, nature and the world that brings them together. I do my best to always look at the bright side of things. But today I was made sick to my stomach by the rash and irresponsible decision by CL and P that I can now only see as power mongers. I was told that the "arborist" department would reply to my complaint on Tuesday. I am sure the trees would like to have a spokesperson if they could talk. I understand that CL and P's job is to keep lines clear, but today they stepped over the line in their desire to take care of the situation. In the years that we have lived here I have been incensed three times by feeling violated in my own neighborhood. That percentage is pretty low for someone that's a half-blood of Italian and Irish. Anyway, first was when the massive power lines that grew like a cancer throughout Durham and Middlefield. The next was a story for another day and now this. So while I can't sleep, at least I'll be able to see if our neighbors can't sleep either. Apparently, hurricane Irene should have been named Hurricane CL and P because within it's wrath we surely were not spared.
9/3/2011 10:50:55 pm
OMG I feel the pain. They cut WAY too much off. You are never supposed to cut more than 30% off at any one time (once a year) for the health of the tree. And on almost all evergreens, once you cut it off, it is gone as there is no regeneration, they just grow up. I do not think a few years will make any difference. A fence?? What an insensitive ridiculous thing to say.
9/4/2011 03:12:19 am
As far as I am concerned, CL&P has been completely oblivious to the needs of its customers throughout this entire post-Irene period. From its poor communication to its arbitrary decisions regarding power restoration, I truly believe that that company does not care about the lives of the people involved. I am very sorry about your trees, but I am not surprised at CL&P's callous response.
9/4/2011 04:07:37 am
Just in case anyone reading this blog doesn't know who CL&P is, they are Connecticut Light and Power who arbitrarily destroyed hundreds of trees after Irene. The devastation of these majestic trees is a travesty both socially and scientifically.Connecticut Light and Power should hang its head in shame.
9/4/2011 09:55:57 am
And on top of it they did not even take down the culprit dead tree!
9/6/2011 06:36:42 am
I don't know, I think it's look better now.
9/8/2011 01:31:12 am
So sorry about the trees :~( That is very sad.
10/6/2011 11:25:08 pm
This is absolutely ridiculous and I am not sure how it makes the wires any less likely to be taken down during a storm. It looks like this practice of just leaving the very top branches in fact make the trees more likely to snap. I would be incensed as well. I'm sorry to see this happen and I am sure we will be seeing more of it to come.
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