Bloomfielder Debbie Rainone is very, very upset. She used to admire a lovely, mature, blooming wisteria in front of her house on Broughton, across from Demarest School, and maybe you did too. It was the focal point of her nicely landscaped garden…until this week. Debbie writes:
On Tuesday, January 26 at approximately 9:15am I heard a power saw, and went outside my home to see 3 men, 1 in a cherry picker ripping down my 20-year-old heirloom Wisteria vine wrapped around my 100-year-old oak tree. After questioning one worker, he said “it’s gone ma’am, I’m just doing my job.” My next door neighbor has the same Wisteria plant growing on his tree and it was spared.
Apparently they also cut it from the bottom up to kill it because it was written up on their work order as “poison ivy.” We did not have any branches even near the wire nor was the wisteria a problem. They were very arrogant and dismissive, then continued on to the next house. I was so devastated, I called my husband who in turn called the police to file a complaint.
At this point, the PSE&G Supervisor, Councilman Nick Joanow, Forester Steve Schuckman, Mayor McCarthy & members of Bloomfield Neighborhood Association have been notified. Our family is pursuing a civil suit. (Our heart is broken as nothing can replace this once stunning Wisteria, planted by our now deceased mothers’ own hands from her garden 20 years ago.)
Enclosed are photos of the wisteria in bloom last summer, and the vine on Tuesday when Lewis Tree Service, under contract to PSE&G butchered it. Hopefully, it will alert Bloomfielders to be more diligent and question what this tree service will be “trimming” when they get to their house.
Our neighborhood, which looked forward to the majestic blooms each spring will no longer be able to admire its stunning purple grape like flowers or breathe in the wonderful scent of its flowers. We are grateful that Demerast School asked for a small shoot for The Children’s Garden and that it is still thriving.
When I spoke with Rainone the desperation in her voice was loud and clear. “A couple of weeks ago, PSE&G put an orange notice on my door, saying they would be trimming trees.” Admittedly she didn’t respond, because she believed it would be responsible, reasonable trimming. Instead the wisteria was ripped off the tree, despite her pleas to the workmen to “be careful.”
When police showed up, they didn’t offer much support; according to Rainone police said that property 15 feet from the curb is town property, and they could take the whole tree down.
Rainone says she heard from the Mayor, who was not pleased, and may have temporarily stopped further tree work in the area. “The PSE&G supervisor called my husband and said that wisteria causes power lines to go down and kill people,” she said.
We’ll follow up and report on the outcome of this story.