CUMBERLAND — Following Superstorm Sandy and last June’s violent storm known as a super derecho, the city has been working to either cut down or prune more than 50 trees, many of which were damaged by the severe weather.
“We’re doing 25 complete tree removals and we’ve pruned eight and we’re doing another 26 stump removals. We hope to have the work done by March 31,” said Paul Eriksson, a natural resource specialist with the city.
In addition to the storm damaged trees, Eriksson cited several reasons for the tree removals.
“Our area has a maturing forest. Some trees are ending their life span. We also have trees in bad locations, with some becoming a problem for power lines or sidewalks,” he said.
The city pruned three maple trees in the 1300 block of Virginia Avenue on Wednesday.
“I’m glad to see them doing it,” said Jeff Bowman, a resident of the 1300 block.
Bowman is concerned about the potential damage from limbs breaking off or tree coming down all together.
“I don’t want them to bring down a power line. People would be without power,” said Bowman. “You also have to think about the damage it could cause to the parked vehicles.”
Eriksson said the city is sensitive to the issue of the environment and the beauty that trees bring to the city.
“We try to replant when a tree is taken down. Some places you can’t replant if they are in a bad location,” he said.
If the tree is in a poor location such as near the street causing poor visibility, the city looks for another location to plant a new tree, according to Eriksson.
“Right now we are doing a lot of stump grinding,” said Eriksson.
The winter months with the potential of snow on the ground can slow progress.
“The weather conditions like snow can cause problems, especially for stump removals,” said Eriksson.
The city will continue with tree maintenance programs throughout the year. Help is received, through a bid process, from outside contractors like Earth & Tree, Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and others.
“We use contractors particularly with stump grinding. Some cities have equipment to do that, but we don’t have the budget for it,” said Eriksson.
Greg Larry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org