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.