VOLUNTOWN, CT (WFSB) – There’s tree troubles throughout Connecticut.

Municipalities say they’re overwhelmed by diseased and dying trees thanks to infestations like Emerald Ash borer beetles and gypsy moths.

The problem’s only going to continue to grow.

Three years ago, Voluntown didn’t have a budget earmarked for tree removal, but now it’s a $38,000 annual item. They’re not the only town that is having to deal with this.

Most towns along eastern Connecticut have dead trees.

Plainfield Highway foreman, John Ravenelle, showed Channel 3 the trees that are being impacted.

“Of course, they’re all different sizes. I’m thinking 60 to 80 trees town-wide. Some are larger than others, which end up costing more money,” Ravenelle said.

According to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, tree removal concerns is a growing statewide problem because of cyclical infestation year after year by gypsy moths and the Emerald Ash borer beetle.

“Just for one tree it can cost of $2,000. Again, when you have more than 100 trees that have to come down and you didn’t figure that into your budget, it’s very difficult for us,” said Cathy Tendrich, Plainfield First Selectman.

The CCM Executive Director, Joe Delong, says this is a public safety, public health, and environmental crisis for the most affected towns and cities.

With the heavy winter snow, there is more potential damage.

“I’m concerned about wires. I’m concerned about loss of power, I’m concerned about it falling on people and things,” said Rick Ives, Brooklyn First Selectman.

After the storm last Thursday in Marlborough, there were trees everywhere.

Dead trees are also a huge financial burden for homeowners.

Arborist Jeff Page says there are ten trees alone at a home in Brooklyn, a small town that’s faced with $200,000 in unanticipated costs three years ago.

It’s a huge potential liability, especially if emergency vehicles can’t get through, it’s a potentially deadly dilemma.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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