Seeing Forest without the trees

Forest is about to be a little less forested.

Hydro One has come to the town to make sure Forest’s trees aren’t interfering with power lines and it will mean a lot of wood will feel the wrath of a chainsaw.

Brent Kittmer, director of community services in Lambton Shores, says every six years Hydro One visits local communities to trim and cut trees. In Forest, crews will cut or trim 230 trees this time around.

The municipality became involved after hearing 85 of those would be along the road to the town’s lagoon system. Lambton Shores has plans to build walking trails in the area and Kittmer was concerned the natural beauty of the area would be harmed.

He says hydro plans to cut dead or dying ash and Manitoba maples underneath the power lines. And Kittmer says there is another row of trees behind it.

“We weren’t pleased to see 85 trees would be cut but we understand why they have to do it,” says Kittmer.

And, to help ease Lambton Shores’ concerns, Hydro One will be donating a $2,000 tree voucher to be used to plant trees on the other side of the road leading to the lagoon trail.

But homeowners won’t be as lucky. Kittmer says residents on McHenry Street will notice the bush behind their home is noticeably thinner after Hydro One has completed its clean up there. And he says there are older trees scattered throughout town which will be removed on individual lawns but not replaced.

Lambton Shores Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Davis Dagg knew the work would cause some concerns and alerted Forest residents via her monthly newsletter about the coming cut by Hydro One. She doesn’t like it either saying trees are the community’s heritage.

“This is changing the landscape for us. We want to nurture the natural landscape and trees are an important part of that,” she says. “But I do understand the need to protect the safety and security of our energy supply.”

– Heather Wright