NStar senior arborist Bill Hayes explains the re-planting plans for affected areas within the town
layout at the Planning Board Meeting on Monday. 

With 172 incompatible trees within the town layout slated to be removed per NStar’s vegetation maintenance on the transmission right-of-ways, the Planning Board has approved a motion to move forward with the re-planting process.



The board held a joint meeting with Bill Hayes, senior arborist at NStar, and Peter Buttkus, Duxbury’s tree warden, on Monday evening at the Senior Center to discuss plans for various road crossings across town affected by the work in the transmission line rights-of-ways.

“I have brought in tree removal candidates for your review and provided planting plans to replace road crossings that are compatible with the rights-of-way while also benefiting the community,” Hayes said at the public hearing.

Hayes walked the planning board through the plans for each of the road crossings that are within the town layout, including specific types of low-growing trees and bushes that he plans tore-plant in each of the areas. As a bonus, he said, NStar is planning on planting Japanese holly and andromedas at the Lincoln Street substation in order to create a buffer for the abutting residents.

“Much of what we plant will be evergreen, meaning they will keep their leaves throughout the year and maintain that buffer zone,” Hayes said.

O.n Ledgewood Lane, off of Chandler Street, NStar plans to plant techny arborvitae, a low growing species. On Mallard’s Cove, Hayes said the significant cutting that has already been done will be remedied with Vanderwolf limber pine, a type of pine which grows up to about 15 feet at maturity, inkberry holly and viburnums, which Hayes said will fit in well with the existing species.

Terry Clark, of Mallard’s Cove, asked Hayes to further explain the process of replanting in the circular wooded area.

“I appreciate the transition you made between tall and short trees in the other circles,” she said. “How will you do the same thing in a much smaller space?”

Hayes said the taller growing trees will be complemented by lower growing trees that will fill in the empty areas between those trees. The plan, he said, is to plant bushy species that will create a broad buffer.

Cutting on Headwaters Lane proved to be a point of confusion due to the depressed nature of the road, which cuts through the land instead of riding on top of it. Because of the construction of the road, special care must be given to where specific plants are planted in the town layout.

“In the winter you will have snowplows coming through and you don’t want them snapping inkberry branches, so we will plant somewhere in the middle of the embankment,” Hayes said.

Erik Svedin, of Headwaters Lane, expressed his concern that the amount and type of trees NStar was planning on planting in the area would not provide a sufficient buffer from the transmission structures.

“I know Bill will help us make it look better, but is it going to fill in the area and be beneficial to the town?” Svedin asked.

Buttkus answered Svedin’s question, noting one of the reasons he wanted specific species planted in the rights-of-way on town property was so that, 10 years from now, NStar could not come through and wipe out that vegetation.

Hayes added to Buttkus’ sentiment, reminding the board and the public that the species of plants he was offering to plant were accepted by NStar and compatible with the transmission vegetation maintenance program and therefore should never have to be removed at all.

On Headwaters, NStar plans to plant shadbush, witch hazel and cousa dogwoods which will be about seven feet tall above ground when installed.

Some areas, like Union Bridge and Vine Street, may see less planting by NStar because of their previously sparse areas.

“We realize this is a significant impact on residents,” Hayes said. “This replanting is our attempt at being neighbourly and doing as much for them while still doing our job.”

For property owners who wish to landscape their yards post-NStar work, Hayes said a sheet listing acceptable species for the area has been handed out to residents. Planning Board chairman George Wadsworth reminded the public to keep the list in hand when talking with landscape architects.

Hayes is meeting with individual affected residents starting this week and going through August to set up specific replanting plans for each property.

“Duxbury in particular has shown a lot more interest in its constituents, far more than other towns, and residents have made a point to be very involved,” Hayes said. “We already know we have to do this, so now we are working to solve it and act as neighbourly as possible.”