2018 Tree Health Survey

Tree Health Survey

Due to growing concern about roadside tree mortality, the Plainville Department of Public Works engaged the Firm of Professional Environmental Services, to conduct a Tree Health Survey in the early fall of 2018 to assess and evaluate Roadside trees in Plainville.

Purpose of a Tree Health Survey

  • A tree health survey identifies imminent tree risks that currently exist within a community. The information provided in the survey enables us to target and prioritize the existing conditions of the trees and develop the best plan of action to address current issues, mitigate future risks, and implement an Annual Tree Program.

Existing Condition of Our Trees

A significant number of trees were identified as "at-risk trees" that are diseased or dead and require mitigation activities including total removal or limb removal.

  • There are a variety of factors that have caused abnormal tree mortality in Plainville and many other communities across the State. These factors may include; drought, Gypsy Moths, Winter Moths, Ash Yellow, Ash Decline, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, and possibly Emerald Ash Borer and the Two Lined Chestnut Borer on Oaks.
  • White and Red Oak trees in both roadside and interior wooded areas are exhibiting an abnormally high percentage of mortality and appear unable to recover from repeat defoliation due to a variety of factors that weaken them to the point of the secondary fungal activity that is present on the bark of the trunks and large branches. All three photos below are of Plainville trees showing fungal activity; the image on the right also exhibits borer activity.

Evaluation & Recommendation

  • Trees were categorized by geographic location, species, approximate height, proximity to overhead utilities, ownership, and health condition.
    • Tree health conditions were evaluated and recommendations were made based on evidence of disease and / or insect activity, dead or level of stress, and defects identified. Tree's have been assigned a priority level for removal and remediation based on "target potential". Target potential is identified by the direction of the fall, what the targets are in the direction of the fall, and what the likelihood is of the target being hit.
    • The 2018 Plainville Tree Health Survey has recommended a high percentage of trees for removal and remediation (tree limbing*) because they have been identified as dead or under high stress.

Immediate Action Items

  • Develop a plan to mitigate non-utility municipal trees that possess a priority 1 target rating.
  • Collaborate with the Electric Utility (National Grid) to address tree hazards that have the potential to result in temporary electrical outages and road closures.
  • Establish an annual tree management plan incorporating community funding as well as grant funding, where and when available, to mitigate hazardous trees to reduce risk to the community.
  • Notify owners of private trees, of their responsibility to mitigate trees that have been identified as hazardous to the public way.
  • Perform community outreach to provide status updates on the health of Plainville's trees by posting information on the Town of Plainville's website, utilization of official Town of Plainville social media accounts, and through outreach to traditional media sources.