Before and after photos of the oak tree on the Town-owned boulevard on Stonegate Place. SUPPLIED BY KELLY MOORE

Town defends pruning as reasonable

Kelly Moore of Stonegate Place in Fonthill is seething mad over the fashion in which a Public Works employee trimmed the tree in front of her home.

“I work hard to maintain my property, and all I asked the Town to do was trim a couple of branches that I could not safely trim myself. They have totally decimated the tree, and in the process made my property look terrible,” she told the Voice.

Moore said that she contacted the Town on September 14 to trim some branches on a tree on her property that were growing across her double driveway, out of her reach.

“They arrived on November 1 without notice, or even a knock on the door to advise they were going to trim the branches,” she said. “They in fact took chainsaws to the tree, and cut off far more than was required. The excuse they gave me was that garbage collection trucks were hitting the branches. I am deeply disappointed, as the majority of what they sawed off was not even on the street side.”

Jason Marr, Pelham’s Director of Public Works, provided the Voice with an explanation of the tree trimming work from the Town’s Operations Department.

To provide a balanced, aesthetically-pleasing tree form, the arborist elevated the entire crown to a uniform height

“The oak tree in question on Stonegate Place was attended by the Town’s certified arborist, who determined that significant pruning of low hanging limbs was required. Several limbs overhanging the road had been damaged by vehicular traffic, and the limbs were also quite low over the yard and driveway. The arborist pruned the tree in accordance with the Town’s Tree Maintenance Policy S802-01, which prescribes a minimum limb height of 4.3 metres above the road. To provide a balanced, aesthetically-pleasing tree form, the arborist elevated the entire crown to a uniform height.”

Marr said that the Town’s Tree Maintenance Policy, approved in 2021, provides a proactive approach to tree pruning through a seven-year maintenance cycle.

“The area around Stonegate Place has been identified for pruning in 2023. Prior to the adoption of the policy, tree pruning was completed on a request or complaint-driven basis, resulting in areas not receiving the service level required. This has led to the need of more aggressive pruning. The delay in response can be attributed to prioritizing and responding to safety and hazard-related forestry work, and pruning as per the cycle outlined in the policy.”

Moore wasn’t placated by the explanation.

“This poor tree will not recover in my lifetime,” she lamented. “Shame on these people who prefer their power tools to trees. The Town cannot keep employing people who do not care about our trees, and continue to destroy them with no regard.”