Queens trees need to be regularly maintained

Queens trees need to be regularly maintained
By John Amato

There are thousands of street trees here in Queens which need to have regular maintenance, such as pruning, to maintain existing health and vigor as well as pruning of dead and dying branches from many others. Dead and dying trees should be removed.

I was informed by a rather rude employee from the Queens Division of Forestry that city street trees are pruned on a seven-year cycle. Well, trees do not adhere to that cycle. There are many trees that develop problems before the next seven-year pruning cycle, such as overgrowth, fungus and insect problems, root rot and dieback within their canopies.

There is absolutely no reason for the Division of Forestry to wait seven years to attend to these problems. Trees must be maintained on a regular basis within a much shorter time frame than seven years. The public has the right to be able to walk down our streets and through our parks without having to fear that a branch or a tree will fall on them, causing injury or even death.

Where is all of the money that is allocated to the Department of Parks going? Certainly, a portion of that money is set aside for the Forestry budget in each borough. As we now are approaching the late fall and winter storm season, the work on our trees must be performed much more rapidly.

Why doesn’t the Parks Department subcontract out this huge but necessary job to the many tree companies that are located in our area? That certainly would help clear up the backlog.

Also, when there are situations involving trees growing near utility lines, I was told that that responsibility is Con Edison’s. Are the people who prune the trees for Con Edison qualified arborists?

I have seen trees butchered that have power lines passing through their canopies and the natural shapes of the tree canopies completely destroyed by the way in which they were pruned. Many were properly pruned in order to keep the natural shape of the tree canopy.

Obviously, some people know how to prune trees near power lines and others do not. We are looking at a potential arboricultural Armageddon in this borough if this situation is not dealt with as soon as possible.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

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