Train Trees Cut Down

Private property is not the only place where trees are being cut in Westport.

Earlier today, Eversource and Metro-North took down trees in the right-of-way at the railroad station.

Matthew Mandell — an RTM member for the district, and director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce — called it “a great loss to the community. A number of these trees are beautiful in summer. They also obscure part of the tall electric gantry.”

(Photo/Matthew Mandell)

(Photo/Matthew Mandell)

(Photo;Monica Buesser)


17 responses to “Train Trees Cut Down

  1. Honestly, look how close they are to the overhead catenaries. As an ex-commuter for decades, there were way too many times trains could not run due to storm damage. This is preventative just as I took down some pines two years ago leaning toward my house.

  2. Elizabeth Higgins

    The Post Plaza Mall where renovation is ongoing for the Amazon Fresh Market had their landscape crew come on to our property without permission (trespassing) and cut down 2 mature trees on property without permission (destruction of property. These trees were also in a wetlands area abutting the Muddy Brook at Morningside Drive South. Illegal tree cutting and unnecessary tree cutting seem to be a town wide problem.

    • So what did you do about it? Did you file a police report? Follow up with Amazon corporate?

  3. Patrick J Church

    We are really just destroying this town. Massive builds. Trees ripped up. Very depressing.

  4. Annalise Ferrara

    I’ve been complaining about this “deforestation” since last February. Eversource should have been trimming trees all along, not decimating them, and thereby ruining our beautiful countryside. Anne Hughes had said she was going to do something to stop them, but apparently, nothing has come of it.

  5. Chris Swan(retired, CL&P)

    This Right Of Way clearing is Eversource reacting to Storm Isaias(August 4, 2020) and orders from the PURA hearings that followed in winter of 2020/21. Earlier last year you had that reader who was shocked by ROW clearing along the stretch off Lyons Plain Road in Weston along the 115 kV overhead transmission circuit that parallels Westport’s northern border running from Bridgeport, Easton and Fairfield thru Weston towards Wilton. That ROW had been maintained only lightly over its prior 75 plus year history and had major tree removal done last Spring.

    Now the double 115 kV circuit that parallels the Metronorth catenary from Bridgeport to Greenwich is getting its catch up clearance tree removal. Crews were behind the Greens Farms Post Office just last week cutting numerous 15 to 24 inch diameter trees down. Most people don’t see that stretch from homes or even the station itself. But as one commenter to your article correctly stated trees have often disrupted train service, in addition to causing power outages.

    We did plant over 190 trees around the Sherwood Substation on New Creek Rd, diagonally opposite the Greens Farms RR station in the 2008 – 2010 construction of that substation, using mostly spruce trees or low height deciduous trees(dogwoods, etc), as a screening buffer to the public, planting these trees outside the substation perimeter fence. This was in response to Westport and Greens Farms Academy concerns over the appearance of the proposed substation equipment.

    If I were a truly concerned member of the public I’d lobby the Selectman’s office to push the utility and Metronorth to plant low growth evergreens in place of any large trees they remove, to help offset the now wide open view


    • Bill Strittmatter

      I would imagine Westport could get Eversource to bury every single electrical line if Westport paid for the cost via significantly increased property taxes or, alternatively, Westport utility customers agreed to pay for it via special surcharges on their electric bills.

      Of course, burying all the lines could result in a lot more dead trees in the short term due to necessary trenching to bury the lines destroying root systems. That damage might be reduced if the lines were buried in the middle of the road (at increased expense), but there would still be damage from distribution trenches to customers.

      Unfortunately, there is probably no easy answer.

    • Then people will be up in arms about wetlands being destroyed. Although the pipeline that passes through is buried… Also, you don’t want buried high electrical lines in flood zones, it will be a nightmare with issues after flooding with salt water.

  7. Trees do not live forever. Those trees that were cut down were definitely mature. Perhaps even past their prime. More so, if you look at them, they were getting close to the high voltage lines. I don’t think the topping of the trees would look good nor fair well with the long term survivability of them. People need to step back and look at the big picture. Not just “oh that tree is old, it needs to be saved”. Not every tree is savable. Not every tree is removed just because they want to. Cutting trees costs money. Companies and people do not always do it just because they feel like it. I trust Eversource and Metro North would love to never have to cut another tree. But, again, trees are both beautiful and a liability and that needs to be weighed by the parties involved.

  8. And you, Mr. Roberts? are you not past your PRIME?

  9. “A stitch in time…” Like many other things that exist in our world, it is ultimately more cost effective (and aesthetically pleasing) to maintain a property, home or commercial dwelling, than to ignore until it gets to crisis level. Regular and proper trimming will lessen the need for emergency crews and related inconveniences. Municipalities need to budget for these things

  10. David+Brant,+Executive+Director,+Aspetuck+Land+Trust

    I can’t comment on whether this ROW clearing project at the RR was appropriate or not, but tree cutting is epidemic in our towns as new folks move in from the city and clear cut their properties. We have received many calls about this. Aspetuck Land Trust and Sustainable Westport met just yesterday to discuss this issue and what we can do to educate the public about the importance of trees in our landscape. Trees and their root systems play a very important role in reducing runoff and flooding, filter out ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide from the air we breath, help us save money heating and cooling our homes, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and beautify our world. Check out this great website

    Aspetuck Land Trust has embarked upon a major Green Corridor Initiative to save the last remaining undeveloped open spaces in our towns and help homeowner build more biodiversity in their yards to provide more habitat for wildlife squeezed by climate change. Native trees are an important part of weaving our fragmented landscape back together.

  11. Donald Bergmann

    I would think that there are some particular areas where underground wires make more sense than others, .e.g. along a railroad right of way in which the trees generate a particular aesthetic, maybe even noise reduction role. All choices confront problems, but that does not mean that modest possibilities should not be explored by all the stakeholders.

  12. Elizabeth Thibault

    Eversource and MTA have been aggressively denuding the areas along the tracks. Even in spaces where the foliage isn’t threatening or even close, they’d rather clear cut and continue to spray pesticides, rather than put the time and effort into doing regular maintenance. All along the corridor in our town, residents have had their plantings that are at a safe distance cut down. The 25′ setback isn’t seemingly enough when their crews gain access. When the neighbors try to speak with the Eversource teams, they’re spoken down to and told that folks are just doing their job. There’s no partnering or working together to find a solution that doesn’t impact quality of life.
    Their leadership does not care about their customers and do not feel beholden to answer to any regulators, if they can get away with not preparing adequately before a storm and leave many of us without power for a week because they felt the cost of having repair crews on standby was too much, you can be assured they will not invest in anything that might require ongoing maintenance like a little screening vegetation.

  13. nothing compared to what the state did on the Merritt Parkwat

  14. Mark Bachmann

    To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, we seem to be paving paradise to make room for too many parking lots. Once the paradise is gone, we’re not getting it back.