DEEP: Vegetation Management Task Force

The State Vegetation Management Task Force

The Final Report of the State Vegetation Management Task Force is now available. 

Purpose and Mission
Public Input
Task Force Working Groups
Task Force Members
Facilitator's Meeting Summaries


On April 24, 2012, the State Vegetation Management Task Force held its inaugural meeting.  The Task Force will develop recommendations and standards regarding the planting, removal and maintenance of roadside trees.  This Task Force has been formed by the Commissioner of DEEP, as called for in the report of the Governor's Two Storm Panel.  The Two Storm Panel was formed in response to the two highly damaging storms of the second half of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor'easter.  

Purpose and Mission 

The purpose of the Task Force is to ensure necessary perspectives are represented by members who can commit the time and work effectively together, each bringing to the table the necessary knowledge and resources to inform discussion. The goal is to develop consensus recommendations to DEEP within the stated mission. It is anticipated that Task Force will meet approximately 9-10 times in order to complete its recommendations by August 31, 2012.

The Mission of the Task Force is to develop standards for road side tree care in Connecticut, vegetation management practices and schedules for utility rights of way, right tree/right place standards, standards for tree wardens, municipal tree inventories and pruning schedules.

Public Input

Meetings of the Task Force are open the public.  However, participation by visitors in discussions will be at the discretion of the Chair.  Please see the Ground Rules.

The Task Force is grateful for all of the spoken and written comments received from the public during the two Public Listening Sessions held on August 13, 2012.  These comments will help guide the final version of the Task Force Recommendations.

Emails regarding the Task Force may be addressed to

Working Groups

Public Education: What are the key messages that the public needs to hear about the roadside forest that will help support good policy and appropriate actions?

  • What does the public need to know about trees to better understand the necessities of roadside forest management?
  • What does the public need to know about the roles and responsibilities of private property owners, municipalities, utilities and the State (DOT, DEEP Forestry, DEEP PURA, the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Connecticut) to understand the context for roadside forest management, tree planting, and so on?
  • Can we develop a product such as an informational brochure or Public Service Announcement on "Who is Responsible for your Community's Trees?" or "What Landowners Need to Know about Trees and Power".
Regulation, Legislation and Funding:  What regulatory context and resources are required to move beyond current obstacles and effectively manage existing and future roadside forests in Connecticut?
  • Is a different regulatory structure needed?
  • What local ordinances or statewide legislative proposals should be helpful?
  • What funding and personnel is required?  How do you make a proposal for additional resources?
Technical / Standards:  What standards for pruning, integrated vegetation management and risk assessments are necessary to guide the management decisions made for existing and future roadside forests?
  • What standards currently exist or are being used in Connecticut?
  • What standards from elsewhere might be useful in Connecticut?
  • How might these standards vary based upon location, road type and different risk assumptions about storm intensities / power outages, and so on?
  • How will the Right Tree / Right Place guidelines be best utilized?


Facilitator's Meeting Summaries
Organizational Document: Roles of Participants
Organizational Document: Group Charter and Ground Rules
Draft of DEEP White Paper on Roadside Forests
Introductory Powerpoint on Roadside Forests
(presented to the Two Storm Panel on November 18, 2011)
Tree Law Presentation

Task Force Members
(see photo)

Kim Barbieri
Zoning and Wetland Enforcement Officer   
City of Torrington
Torrington, CT
Timothy Bockus
Director of Public Works
Town of East Hartford
East Hartford, CT
Ken Bullard
System Arborist
United Illuminating Company
Shelton, CT
Chris Donnelly
Urban Forestry Coordinator
CT DEEP Forestry
Hartford, CT
Mark Goetz
Senior IM Specialist
Burns & McDonnell
Wallingford, CT
David Goodson
Manager-Vegetation Management
Northeast Utilities
Hartford, CT
Jim Govoni
Tree Warden
Town of Windsor
Windsor, CT
Eric Hammerling
Executive Director
CT Forest and Park Association
Rockfall, CT
Jane Harris
Rockfall Foundation
Middletown, CT
Mary Hogue
Fairfield Forestry Committee
Fairfield, CT
John Jasinski
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
New Britain, CT
Leslie Kane
Bent of the River Audubon Center
Southbury, CT
Kevin Kelly
Director of Operations
Town of Colchester
Colchester, CT
Bill Logue
The Logue Group
West Hartford, CT
Teri Brown
Regulatory Director
Bridgeport, CT
JoAnn Messina
Greenwich Tree Conservancy
Greenwich, CT
John Mitchell
System Maintenance
United Illiminating Company
Shelton, CT
John Parry
USDA Forest Service
Durham, NH
Karl Reichle
Superintendent of Operations /
Tree Warden
Town of South Windsor
South Windsor, CT
Bruce Villwock
Staff Maintenance Landscape Designer 
CT Department of Transportation
Newington, CT
Jeffrey Ward
Station Forester
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
New Haven, CT

Facilitator's Meeting Summaries

Content last updated September 4, 2012