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Letter: Consult a trained arborist before butchering our trees

Consult a trained arborist before butchering our trees

I have read accounts of trees in the City of Buffalo being decimated by hack tree contractors. I reside in a suburb of Buffalo. The town in which I live does not farm out the butchery. I made the mistake of calling the town last year to save my shade tree, a 60-year-old common maple that made its home on the town portion of the property and was in some need of TLC.

Instead of receiving care, a town crew, armed with chain saws, began cutting and cutting – removing at least half of the leafy canopy, much of which it had recovered since the October storm. I was heartsick.

My tree now looks like a badly shorn poodle. I’m afraid that it will not survive, having lost much of its ability to take in nutrients and carbon dioxide. The supervisor, rather than returning my call, stopped by while I was at work and told my husband matter-of-factly, “That’s the way we’ve been doing this for years,” and “Look at some of your neighbors’ trees where we’ve done the same.”

Oh, I looked. It was for the best that he did not have the courtesy to call me. Past practice does not always equate to best practice. What’s done is done, though, and the old tree will never be the same. The town crew was out again last week, lopping off even the new twigs that were struggling to make future branches. It also mutilated additional trees on my street that had managed to escape last year’s carnage.

In a couple of years, they will be back again to hack the trunks down and leave us with barren patches of grass for the sun to beat down upon.

Perhaps tree services in townships, as well as the subcontractors in the city, could be reschooled by proper arborists who care about what we will leave to our progeny. To quote the poet Theodor Geisel, “I speak for the trees as the trees have no tongues.”

Rosemary A. DuBuke

Town of Tonawanda

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