Monday, November 16, 2009

Damaging Pruning Along S. Ferris & S. Dutcher Streets

The Con Ed crews are at it again! This morning line clearing along S. Ferris Street continued and then began in ernest along S. Dutcher Street. The results are visually and aesthetically unsatisfactory, even though everyone understands the need for clearing growth off the lines for safety reasons. The on-site Asplundh supervisor, Dennis, received complaints from myself, Trustee Connie Kehoe and the village consulting arborist, Guy Pardee. The crew was subsequently told to go lighter in their clearances, where possible.

Along S. Ferris, this still resulted in a mal-shaped Bozo-cut cherry tree. Along S. Dutcher, where pruning continues at this afternoon, the result has been several large Pear trees with vertical "u" shaped notches cut into their crown.

Cherry Tree on S. Ferris


Pear Tree on S. Dutcher

In speaking with Guy about what could be done better, he observed that the wires around the branches of the cherry could be seen to be visibly frayed - the insulation having been rubbed off by the branches. A real safety issue. So hard pruning was unavoidable.

He continued: as the lines are much lower in this area, we are left with no choice but to prune since any tree planted would soon outgrow its vertical clearance. Thus, the best approach would be for the village to undertake a more proactive pruning program with its street trees - prune yearly with an eye towards keeping growth moving away from the wires, as well as keeping an eye on the overall shape of the tree aesthetically. Only with this sort of careful yearly work could we hope to maintain the trees in a manner that would be "safe" from future Con Ed defacement.

With average yearly pruning costs initially (for the first several years) being up to $250 per tree, the big question is -> How will the village pay for such an on-going tree maintenance practice?

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