Sunday, June 21, 2009

Residents skeptical of city's justification for tree removals; Ann Arbor, MI

Tree loss bothers residents - "Tree loss bothers residents
Neighbors question rules Ann Arbor forestry says it follows
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Ann Arbor News
Several residents on Ann Arbor's west side are angry a massive silver maple tree they believe was healthy was cut down by city foresters.More distressing, they say, is that the 4-foot diameter tree on Charlton Street in the Virginia Park neighborhood was a casualty in a larger pattern. The group believes trees are being removed by default, rather than after efforts to save them.

That's troubling in a town nicknamed for its canopy, said Gary Woodworth and Sue Perry, two area residents who are part of the group upset by the tree's removal. It's particularly troubling in a town where some 10 percent of public ash trees were recently lost to a lethal, invading insect, they say.

"If the tree needs to come down, then take it down,'' Woodworth said. "But if the tree can be saved, save the tree, rather than if there is a reason to cut it down, then do it.''

But city forestry officials say they follow a set of specific guidelines when deciding whether to take down a public tree. They say healthy trees aren't removed simply at a property owner's request.

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