Below is a message from PSE&G dated May 20, 2019 regarding an update to its resiliency upgrades and work on Jackson Street:
As you may know, PSE&G is rebuilding its electric system infrastructure to replace or supplement its 50-plus-year-old circuit lines. To support this initiative, we are installing sturdier and taller overhead utility poles along Monroe and Jackson Streets in Hoboken. These 69kV poles are the standard of the 21st century and are needed to address increasing demand, reliability and storm preparedness.
After inspecting the circuit route on Jackson Street, PSE&G—along with Quanika Stover, Hoboken’s Urban Forestry Coordinator—identified potentially hazardous trees that could be saved but are in need of pruning. There are also trees that will need to be removed and replaced because the health of the tree is in decline and the trimming would be too severe.
We do not take tree removal lightly, as we know how important trees are to residents, the environment and community aesthetics. Rest assured we only remove a tree if it presents a true hazard to public safety. PSE&G’s 69kV Urban Reforestry initiative includes replacing trees that have been removed in order to accommodate the construction of a new circuit. We will plant utility-friendly, replacement trees in the spring. These new trees will not grow into electric conductors, providing an environmental and safety asset for current and future property owners.
In addition, PSE&G will conduct directional pruning on the remaining trees that are consistent with the standards of the International Society of Arboriculture to help ensure the health of the trees.
According to City Code (Chapter 136), it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to care for sidewalks and street trees. In order to keep the new tree healthy and beautiful, please:
1. Water the tree every other day with five (5) gallons, totaling at least twenty (20) gallons per week. The most important factor in the survival of Hoboken's street trees is that they receive the proper amount of water. A Treegator bag will be provided with your new tree. A “treegator” bag is a watering bag that fills up quickly and drains slowly, this allows water to soak down to the roots where it is needed.
2. Consider installing a tree guard. Tree guards shall have three (3) sides, the open side facing the curb, 12-18 inches high, around the entire perimeter of the tree hole with bark mulch pursuant to Hoboken Shade Tree Commission’s standards available at www.hobokennj.gov/trees.
If you have any questions about trees, please contact Urban Forestry Coordinator Quanika Stover, firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-420-2000 ext. 4004. If you’d like more information about PSE&G’s electric system upgrade, please call Reliability Hotline at (800) 901-5035.
Update from Hoboken on PSE&G project, dated May 20, 2019:
This morning the City administration met with PSE&G representatives to discuss the rationale for tree removal and replacement on Madison and Jackson Streets as well as the upcoming schedule for tree planting. PSE&G will conduct tree planting operations from 5/28 to 6/8 which will include removing existing stumps, expanding tree pits and tree planting. The new trees planted by PSE&G will be utility friendly trees that increase biodiversity, improve the urban tree canopy, and reduces heat-islands on sidewalks in the City of Hoboken.
In every case where a tree has been removed, a tree will be replanted this spring, unless in direct conflict with utility infrastructure. For areas with utility conflicts, new trees will be planted in close proximity. As part of a demonstration project for utility friendly trees, PSEG will also be partnering with the City to plant additional trees this fall in new tree pits along Newark, Madison, Jackson and Monroe project area. Utility-friendly trees will help to improve electric service, safety and reliability. PSE&G will be distributing letters regarding new tree maintenance to property owners adjacent to newly planted trees. For additional information on new tree care please visit www.hobokennj.gov/trees.
PSE&G's 69kV substation project, which addresses modernization, increasing demand, reliability, and storm preparedness of electrical infrastructure in Hoboken, involved conflict with the identified trees along Madison and Jackson Streets. The selected trees scheduled for removal would have either died after pruning, were identified as hazards, were already in a state of poor health, dying or dead, or were in direct conflict with utility infrastructure. The rationale used to determine removal included tree location, existing tree health, tree species such as whether or not it was considered utility friendly, maturity, height, and survival likelihood from pruning.
All recommendations for removal or pruning were made by a certified arborist and New Jersey licensed tree care expert, and all tree work is performed consistent with the standards of the International Society of Arboriculture to help ensure the health of the trees. PSE&G will complete tree pruning and removal operations on Jackson St. between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Friday, 5/24.
The PSE&G point of contact for this project is Rich Dwyer and he can be reached via email at Richard.email@example.com with any additional comments or questions.