Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Necessity or Excess?

At about noon yesterday, Gossips received a call from an alarmed reader reporting that a DPW crew was doing a "hack job" on the locust tree in front of City Hall. What they were doing seemed too extreme for simple pruning, and he feared they might be preparing to take the tree down. Ever ready to follow up on a good tip, I prepared to hie myself to the scene to investigate, but just then it started to rain--rather hard--so I decided to do my reconnaissance by phone.

I called the Department of Public Works and spoke with Melissa, who told me that some branches of the tree had to be cut away so that the new streetlight could be installed. She assured me that the tree was not being taken down.

Later in the afternoon, I went to City Hall to see for myself. A major limb of the tree and at least one smaller branch had been removed, leaving the tree decidedly lopsided but clearing lots of space for a person on the cherry picker to install a luminaire on the lamppost. Surely what needed to be done could have been accomplished in a more sensitive way than this.


  1. now you are a pruning expert. You are amazing you're knowledge of so much

  2. it doesn't take very much intelligence to see what's wrong with this picture -

  3. The Hudson DPW needs a major course in proper tree pruning ASAP. Their approach is not from understanding but more of hacking away and being irked by the responsibility. The Hudson Cemetery trees bear scars of years of this approach. The chain saws should be locked up until all successfully pass "Tree Pruning #101."

    I'm really serious about this.

    Maybe then Hudsons trees and parks would show the pride that DPW's of other towns exhibit.

  4. Vincent--When Mike Sassi was the DPW Superintendent, I suggested to him that DPW create a "Green Team"--an "elite" group of adult DPW workers with tree care and landscaping skills and high school and college kids--boys and girls--who needed summer jobs. Their task would be to maintain the parks and care for the street trees that had no property owners looking out for them. Sassi liked the idea and promised to pursue it, but then he was gone.

    Rob Perry might be open to the idea if it were presented to him.

  5. That's a great idea, Carole, it should be presented to DPW. I think we are missing Sassi.

  6. I worked with a tree surgeon for a number of years in the mid-1980's. We had contracts to maintain the trees on many of the old Hudson River estates. There is a way to make a cut so that the bark doesn't rip the way it did in the photo above. Basically, the idea is to cut the branch off in stages, so that when you make the final cut close to the trunk you're taking off a very small piece, and thus there isn't enough weight and leverage to cause a rip. Tree pruning #101.

  7. That is a great idea as long as everyone gets educated first to the proper pruning of trees and shrubs. Not to be confused with the present DPW learning curve being set as an example for young impressionable minds !
    The city and the cemetery are too large for the present DPW crew to maintain from what I've been told.
    This sounds like a win win solution.