We are extremely unhappy with the damage inflicted on our beautiful Turkish hazelnut tree in the name of the City’s new program, and wish to address the justification given for this program as follows:
1. THE PROGRAM IS REQUIRED BECAUSE THE CITY HAS INSUFFICIENT MANPOWER TO DEAL WITH HOMEOWNERS’ REQUESTS FOR PRUNING.
This is illogical. The number of trees the City has planted and the rate at which they grow remains the same whether you prune all the trees on a schedule or on an as-needed basis. Currently you are pruning all trees planted between 1997-2005. If you waited to see which of those trees actually needed pruning, the likelihood is that you would not, in fact, have to prune as many as you are doing in according to your “proactive” policy.
2. PRUNING THE TREES WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG MAKES IT EASIER FOR THEM TO RECOVER FROM THEIR WOUNDS.
But do you have any evidence that recovering from one or two large wounds, which is all I see on mature trees around Toronto, is any worse than recovering from 20 smaller ones, which is what you inflicted on our tree by adhering to your policy of 8 feet of clearance? If you waited until the tree was taller to see which branches actually cause problems you might not have to prune any at all!
Following your logic, OHIP’s policy would be to take out your child’s appendix, gallbladder, wisdom teeth, adenoids, and tonsils, in one big operation while he’s small, with the justification that kids recover better from their wounds when they’re young than when they are older, and they don’t have the manpower to do surgery on an as-needed basis.
3. THE CITY IS REQUIRED TO KEEP SIDEWALKS AND WALKWAYS CLEAR.
Of course. But in the case of our tree, its lowest branches already cleared all sidewalks and walkways!!! And most of the branches that were removed were over our porch, providing us with privacy, shade, and greenery. They weren’t even over public space.
4. WE HAVE TO MAINTAIN THE TREE’S FORM.
But that’s exactly why we’re upset—you didn’t! A Turkish Hazelnut is meant to be rounded and taper to the top; it has many lateral branches. The arborist went to work with a chain saw and a mandate to clear 8 feet, and no concern whatsoever for the characteristic silhouette of the tree. You say you can’t rely on homeowners, but ANY homeowner would have done a better job than this professional. “The tree’s form” is ruined forever.
5. IT ALWAYS LOOKS BAD AFTER A HAIRCUT.
But haircuts are done for cosmetic reasons, and this was not.
And hair grows back, but these boughs can never grow back.