10/10/2011Posted by MJ
The Buffalo News reported that some of the former city refuse workers, who kept city employment through bargaining away refuse collection as a city job, could initially be put on tree duties.
The end of city-run garbage collection Friday freed up about 10 employees for other assignments, and the city’s chief tree trimmer wants the Common Council to send some of those workers his way.
“If we had enough men, we could put a big dent in our trees,” said Joseph Kane, tree crew leader.
There are an estimated 70,000 trees on city property or along streets in the city right of way, Kane told the aldermen. Complaints about trees that are dying or need to be trimmed flow steadily into City Hall.
Yet the city has only four workers assigned to its forestry budget, said Richard P. Mullaney, city clerk and budget director.
Forestry departments are some of the easiest to cut from as the effects take a while to notice. A tree missing here or there is not noted. It is not until some decades go by and tree-less spots start to outnumber the ones with trees remaining. The next problem is that it will take decades to have mature trees back in those spots. 70,000 trees may sound like a lot but take notice as you drive (or hopefully walk) down Lockport sides streets just how many street trees are currently missing.
“It would take an army to clean up our tree backlog,” said Alderman Andrew D. Chapman...
Here is a nice document on the 22 Benefits of Urban Street Trees ranging from increased property values, to structure shading / cooling , to vehicle / pedestrian safety, less drainage, etc. At least personally, nothing shows an area forsaken by a municipality than one with streets with no street trees left. I use it as a criteria when buying an older house.
A peeve of mine in the city is that when I have notified of a dead branch, the whole tree was cut down etc for 6 ft of the trunk which would remain for 3 years until the tree started growing again. I'd hope that we either have a certified arborist on staff or have one contracted. If the city is hardly planting anymore they better not be needlessly cutting them down.