Following the removal and replanting of 11 trees under power lines along Lincklaen Street this past spring, National Grid recently presented the village of Cazenovia with $550. The funds were given through the company’s “10,000 Trees and Growing” program, awarding $50 for each qualifying tree that was correctly planted under existing power lines.
Deputy Mayor Amy Mann, the village’s tree commissioner, accepted a check from Brian Skinner and Jim Maloney, from National Grid’s forestry division, on Dec. 5.
“On behalf of National Grid, we are pleased to help support the recent efforts of the village [tree commission] in their progress to increase the community tree population by using the ‘right-tree-right place’ selection methods. This helps both the community and National Grid in avoiding some of the tree and line conflicts that have resulted over years-past with selections that needed to be periodically pruned and can often be the causes of line outages, interrupting customer service,” said Skinner, a senior arborist at National Grid’s central division. “By utilizing appropriate lower growing species where there are overhead lines present, we can avoid or minimize future tree pruning requirements and the associated costs that are involved.”
The village first enrolled in the 10,000 Trees and Growing program in 2009, and Mann said this year has been the most successful to date. Through the program, municipalities can apply for reimbursement for the responsible planting of new trees. To be eligible, plantings must meet specific guidelines regarding location and species, designed to protect utility infrastructure.
After the Village Tree Commission determined the status of 11 over-mature sugar maples on Lincklaen Street earlier this year, National Grid decided it was in residents’ best interests to replace the trees. The removal efforts initially concerned some residents, however working closely with National Grid, the commission promptly planted 11 new species, including river birch, paperbark maple, ornamental pear, hornbeam, cornelian cherry and crabapple.
“While we never like to lose trees, the condition of those trees could have resulted in a disastrous situation for homeowners in the area and also for the 200 residents serviced by those lines,” Mann said. “After much planning and education, the project was successfully completed and we are grateful to [National] Grid for their sensitivity and understanding in dealing with our residents.”
National Grid’s investment in the removal project totaled $29,000, a figure which would have greatly affected the village’s budget, Mann said.
Appreciative of the village’s preventative actions, the electric company representatives thanked the trustees and tree commission after presenting the check.
“This is a beneficial partnership between the village and the company that helps maintain and increase the tree canopy within the community, providing a multitude of benefits, while helping the company and consumers avoid future costs and potential outages,” Skinner said. “We applaud the committee for their efforts, planning and foresight on behalf of village residents, and I look forward to continuing to make future presentations such as this for further tree installations.”
Over the past year, the village has been moving towards being named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Currently, an application is being submitted to the organization, which provides direction, technical assistance, public attention and national recognition for community forestry programs. If the foundation decides that Cazenovia successfully meets the four standards of a tree city, the village will become one of the 3,400 communities nationwide to attain the title.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.