Tree-cutting planned in Amherst

Telegraph photo by KATHY CLEVELAND Mack Hill Road is one of several Amherst scenic roads where Eversource wants to remove trees.

AMHERST – Eversource wants to remove about 26 trees from Amherst scenic roads, including Mack Hill, Green, Lyndeborough, County and Pond Parish, and the utility has asked the planning board to hold a hearing in advance.

Three years ago, plans for cutting 70 trees for a Pond Parish Road rebuilding project drew many people to a hearing to protest the potential loss of their three canopy.

“My goal is to not have this room overwhelmed with people,” said community development director Gordon Leedy, who asked the board to have more than one hearing. “It’s literally every scenic road in town.”

Eversource has sent letters to all affected property owners and will be targeting dead or sick trees, though it won’t remove them without permission of the land owners.

It’s a balancing act, Leedy said, between having reliable power and keeping several hundred property owners happy.

He and board members agreed that Asplundh, the company Eversource (formerly Public Service of New Hampshire) contracts to do tree trimming and removal did a terrible job on Amherst Street, where it shaved off the sides of pine trees.

Board Chairman Arnold Rosenblatt said the town should have an inventory of trees that are coming down and board member Clifford Harris said all stumps should be removed and the public works department should have a say.

In recent years power companies have been aggressively trimming roadside trees in response to major storms that knocked out power for lengthy time periods, especially the devastating ice storm of 2008.

Kathy Cleveland may be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@nashuatelegraph.com.