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All Opinions Are Local
Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 12/01/2011

D.C.’s tree-lovers are partners, not pests


Trees are one of the most cherished parts of the streetscape for many homeowners. So when a crew sporting chainsaws suddenly shows up on your street unannounced and refuses to answer any questions, it’s more than little worrisome.

The D.C. Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration, which manages tree pruning, engages in no regular communication with residents about the work they’re going to do. Their tree crews often try their best to ignore, often quite rudely, any homeowners asking questions.

If the crews always did the right thing, this might be merely an annoyance, but they don’t. Arborists and the crews have a lot of discretion and sometimes make choices which significantly diminish the quality of a streetscape for residents. And when a crew cuts off a tree limb or removes a tree, there’s no way to get it back.

Keeping D.C.’s many trees alive, especially with small tree boxes, periodic utility work, the occasional drought, and assault from fungus, is a tough job. And regular maintenance and pruning is indeed important.

People I know and trust at DDOT tell me that they consider John Thomas, head of the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), to be one of the best division heads in the agency. But for the typical homeowner, or even the homeowner who’s very involved in civic affairs like myself, we don’t get to see the excellent side of UFA.

[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By  |  11:11 AM ET, 12/01/2011

 
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