Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Friday, January 13, 2012

OK, Let's Try This Again, And This Time, Get It Right

Today I received the email posted below regarding National Grid upcoming program for removing vegetation here in town.  National Grid was severely criticized  this past fall for the poor  manner in which they responded to the needs of the area during, and after the Halloween snow storm.  They were also taken to task for not maintaining the vegetation along the route of their power lines much of which fell onto the lines resulting in lost power all over Massachusetts.

Since 2006 I have seen the vegetation management folks, that National Grid had contracted, twice on Route 148.  Not bad, twice in 5 five years.  Now, I don't want to exonerate National Grid, but since I have witnessed the tree service company trimming trees along Brookfield Road, the entire blame cannot be laid on National Grid.  The tree service company must be held accountable as well since they left a great deal of vegetation hanging  that would affect the lines if storm like we had hit.  They did remove limbs, and branches, but no where near the amount that was needed.

The did the minimum, and collected their check.  This is obvious from the results last October.

So, we have a situation that not only had bad management of the vegetation, but a tree service company that did the minimum for whatever reason.  A bad combination of events that kept most of us with out electrical power for a week.

Question:  Who in town is going to follow behind the tree service company this time to insure that the vegetation is thoroughly removed, or do we wait until the next big storm to find out if the job was done right?

Greetings All, 

National Grid has announced that it is implementing Tree Trimming within the Town of Sturbridge in an effort to conduct some pro-active and preemptive maintenance. This is certainly welcomed news. You may recall from previous correspondence that during my sworn testimony to the Department of Public Utilities I specifically called out National Grid for a lack of "vegetation management" and requested their vegetation management records for the Town of Sturbridge for the last 10 years. Equally, in an official letter authored by Selectman Priscilla Gimas and myself - which is now part of the Public Investigation Record - we again reiterated the lack of preventative vegetation management program and again called for release of all vegetation management records for the last 10 years. 

Whether this official testimony - provided both verbally during hearings and by way of an official letter - has anything to do with the implementation of this "preventative vegetation management program" or is merely coincidental in its timing is an unknown; regardless, one would agree that this proactive and preemptive approach by National Grid is welcome news. The information released is as follows: 

Lewis Tree Service, working under contract for National Grid will be trimming trees for utility line clearance on the following streets beginning on or about January 24th and continuing until completed.

Residents who have questions regarding this tree trimming are encouraged to contact the phone #'s that were printed on the door hangers left by Lewis Tree over the past few weeks. Pruning guidelines to be used by Lewis Tree were approved by the Tree Warden.

Tree Trimming streets:
Holland Rd and all side streets
Brookfield Rd (Rt 148) and all side streets
Arnold Rd and all side streets
Cedar Street and all side streets
Stallion Hill Rd, North end of Leadmine Rd and all side streets
US RT 20 from Stallion Hill Rd west to Brimfield Town Line and all side streets.



Thomas R. Creamer - Chairman, 
Sturbridge Board of Selectmen

Town of Sturbridge


  1. Shouldn't the tree warden be watching the trees?

  2. The Tree Warden does watch the trees here in town, but I don't believe he, or anyone else follows behind the Tree people to make sure the trimming is done to the level of expectation. If someone had done that we would not have had the issues we had in October. Good question.

    Maybe the Tree Warden could do this, or the Town could assign the task to others. All it would require would be making sure what was expected to be done, was done well.

  3. To quote the above article:
    "Pruning guidelines to be used by Lewis Tree were approved by the Tree Warden."
    If he approved what is to be done, he must be the one expected to see that it is done. This leads me to believe that if in the future we see tree trimming related things that appear problematic we should call the tree warden so he can relate the info to the town fathers and National Grid.

  4. That does make sense. Thanks for the input.

  5. what about the rest of Town are those streets getting trimmed?


Anonymous comments not accepted, and will be rejected. Please use your full name. Choose "Name / URL" and enter your name, and your name ONLY. Leave "URL" blank.