State Better to chop down trees along the Needham Line than have them fall on the tracks

Keolis crews have been going down the Needham Line in recent days chopping down trees and limbs along the track that "are dead or could fall in storm and stop service," a MassDot spokesperson says.



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Tough spot for the T

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They cut down the trees or prune them greatly, they get criticized for destroying the natural beauty. They don't try to control growth along the tracks and service gets impacted during storms and they get criticized for not cutting down trees or pruning.

Heck, I remember a few months ago reading someone complaining on and on about the T removing a bunch of invasive trees up north of Boston. There's no winning.


There's also cost control

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It costs money to send folks out.

Do you not trim a branch that isn't a problem today but will grow longer by next year? Within three years?

Being "aggressive" now not only helps to ensure slightly safer conditions immediately, but also reduces costs because it results in less frequent trips to any given location. And, given that some rail lines are busy 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you can get out there and cut without a service disruption, that's a great opportunity.


And, given that some rail

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And, given that some rail lines are busy 18 hours a day, 7 days a week

LOL do you even needham line

Try Again Tomorrow

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And have a list of common prepositions handy when you do.

"Natural Beauty"

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Most of these "trees" are not "natural" to the area.

I walked along where they clear cut the hideous invasive mess along the Lowell Line near Tufts. I looked at what remained. I identified the species by the stumps.

I found ONE TREE that was NOT invasive. ONE - a white pine.

Furthermore, removing all the Tree of Hell trees and Norway Maples took a massive tangle of dogstrangle vine, Japanese honeystinkhole and other invasive stuff with it. Not to mention the native poison ivy and brambles.

That isn't wilderness or nature - that's a reservoir of opportunistic misery plants for the area.

I suspect the Needham Line Second Growth Disaster Society isn't any different - they should just call it invasive removal.

What Is 'Not Naturally'?

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If a tree seed blows in on a Nor'easter or pooped in by a migratory bird, that's not natural?

I've begun pointing this out

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I've begun pointing this out to people complaining about the trees being cut down for GLX.

None of those trees are old or natural. Most weren't even there 50 years ago. Railroads used to do a pretty good job of keeping the right of way trimmed clear, including these urban cuts and embankments. It's really only since the decline of the railroads and these lines falling into public hands that tree clearing has been neglected.

That's BS DTP. Some GLX trees were 200 years old

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Including the one next to my co-worker's backyard. She lost the benefits of that great tree. And to make matters even worse, she had to put down a wall of rat traps because of the new GLX clearing. Those trees had a lot of benefits, including natural ground protection


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Nothing in that area is - it is either fill or it was cleared out when the right of way was first established.

You know nothing of the area.

I didn't write the comment

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I didn't write the comment you're replying to. Another anon did.

If you're going to condescendingly criticize someone, at least target the right person.

Do you know what "lives nearby" is?

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Do you know what "time" is.

Plenty of pictures of the work out there before any stumps were removed.

Sorry if that isn't something that someone from NH would know.


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You do know this article is about trees on the Needham Line, right? Are you saying they removed trees in Roslindale because of a construction project in Somerville?

But since you made the topic about your obsession, I read somewhere (above) that the trees were invasive.


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I totally get why they need to do it, and that it's easier and safer to overcut than come out again and again, but damn, they did a sloppy job. our "backyard" (the part past the fence that's not actually ours) looks like a bad storm hit. should've just cut down the whole tree at that point.

They did this along the B&A

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They did this along the B&A (Worcester Line) too.
Some places needed it, but other spots really ruined a lot of abutters' back yards. They also needed to trim limbs so if they fell, they wouldn't take out the new Positive Train Control lines and new poles.

It helps with slippery rail and track blockages, and if limbs are over their property, they'll trim it gladly. The trunk's on the property, take the whole tree down.

I don't like it, but they get to run the railroad as they see fit.

I don't care if a champion or large healthy tree is native or not, I'd prefer a healthy tree to stay unmolested, but it ain't my land.


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Power companies seem to be proactive on cutting down trees/branches the last few years. I had two huge trees in my front yard last year and the power company gave me the choice (a) they cut them down or (b) I pay for the damages if I kept them and then fell on the lines. They're gone.

That's not what they told me

When they were trimming trees in my neighborhood, my neighbor pimped them into offering to cut down the remaining trunk of the maple on my front lawn. The neighbor had already cut down the other trunk one day when I wasn't home, because it shaded his crappy little apple tree. He probably would have taken down both trunks, if he thought he could do it without taking out the power line to my house. (He doesn't actually collect the apples; they rot on the ground.) The tree guy specifically said I wouldn't be responsible if he left the tree and it later fell and took out the power line. We still have our tree.

Slippery rail

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So, “slippery rail” will be removed from the drop down list of reasons for delay for 2019. #needhamlinerider #rozzieresident