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Eversource says they will spend $68 million on tree removal and trimming this year

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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

BERLIN — In an effort to further reduce tree related power outages, Eversource said they will invest $68 million in tree work in their service area around the state.

The company said it expects to balance the needs of providing reliable service and community aesthetics by removing and trimming trees that are close to power lines.

The company, then called Northeast Utilities,  came under severe criticism for its response to outages after the combined hits of Hurricane Irene and the October snow storm in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy the following year. One of the factors was the lack of ongoing tree removal programs near the power lines.

Since that time, the company said they have reduced the number of tree-caused outages by 40 percent in Connecticut.

They will be working in 132 communities, with some of the most extensive work being done in Waterbury,  Westport, New Milford and Greenwich.  Significant pruning will be done in Bristol, Enfield, Glastonbury, Middletown, Newtown, Norwalk, Stamford, Torrington and Washington.