Saturday, October 31, 2009

Con Ed's Distribution Line Clearing Guidelines - What to Watch Out For!

American National Standard, ANSI A300-2001

American National Standard, ANSI A300-2001 "Standard Practices for Trees and Other Woody Plant Maintenance" guidelines - Part 1 Pruning.

Some ANSI pruning standard practices include:
  • Not more than 1/4 of the foliage on a mature tree should be removed within a growing season.
  • When a branch is cut back to a lateral, not more than 1/4 of its leaf surface should be removed. The remaining lateral should be large enough (at least 1/3 the diameter of the removed parent branch) to assume apical dominance. In other words, a large lateral will suppress excessive sprouting. 

  • Thinning should result in an even distribution of branches on individual limbs and throughout the crown. Ignoring this concept leads to over-lifting (excessive limbing-up) which weakens a tree by making it top-heavy, and lion's-tailing which puts the weight load on the ends of the branches, making branches more prone to break-outs in high winds.

How Much to Prune?
  • Not more than 1/4 of the tree’s foliage should be removed per year.
  • Leave 1/2 foliage in bottom 2/3 of tree.
  • Keep tree’s natural shape.
  • Well pruned tree won’t look pruned.

Utility Pruning - Urban Trees:
  • No topping. Only pruning methods approved by this spec.
  • Minimum number of pruning cuts.
  • Remove branches at laterals not at pre-established clearing limit.
Things to keep in mind:
Pruning should take into account the species of tree, the site limitations (parking or building clearance) and other extenuating circumstances in deciding what or how much to prune. A tree that has been neglected for many years may require several years of pruning to reshape it and some drastic cuts may be required. It is better to train trees when they are young in order to avoid the severe pruning consequences later.

The bottom line is communication is critical. Make sure that Con Ed's consulting arborist conveys (in writing) exactly what will be pruned. Don't assume that the worker with the saw knows what he is doing. Insist that a Certified Arborist is onsite supervising the work at all times.

We want to ensure that Con Ed's crews prune cautiously and wisely to protect the quantity and quality of our urban forests.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Contact Info for Local & State Politicians and the PSC

Garry A. Brown, Chairman
NYS Public Service Commission
3 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12223

Paul Feiner
Office Tel: (914) 993-1540
Office: Fax: (914) 993-1541
177 Hillside Ave.
White Plains, NY 10603

Thomas J. Abinanti
Westchester County Legislator - Dist 12
914-328-9000 Tel/Fax

NY State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky
(D) 92nd Assembly District - Westchester County (Greenburgh)

5 West Main Street
Suite 205
Elmsford, NY 10523

LOB 422
Albany, NY 12248

NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
(D) 35th Senate District



86 Main Street
Yonkers, NY 10701

(Tel.) (914) 771-4190

(Fax) (914) 771-6045


State Senate of the State of New York
Albany, NY 12247

(Tel.) (518) 455-2585

(Fax) (518) 426-6811

NY Governor David A. Paterson
To Write To The Governor:

David A. Paterson 

State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224 

(Tel.) 518-474-8390 

Email - via web form -

Filing a Complaint with the Public Service Commission

On-line: You can file a complaint or review complaint statistics, comment on Commission proceedings; you may also ask a question about your utility service.

By Telephone:
  • Helpline (general complaints
    and inquiries):
    (8:30 am - 4:00 pm)
  • Competitive Energy Hotline complaints
    about Energy Service Companies:

    (8:30 am - 4:00 pm)
  • Hotline for terminations of gas or
    electric service:
    (7:30 am - 7:30pm)
By Mail:
Office of Consumer Services
NYS Department of Public Service
3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223

The Commission is charged by law with the
responsibility to set rates and ensure that
adequate service is provided by New York's utilities.
The New York State Public Service Commission,
Department of Public Service regulates: