Tree removal raises questions about Pelham parks

Pelham parks image cherry ridgeThe removal of trees in Cherry Ridge Park has generated questions from the public as to why Pelham parks trees are being removed and what will be done to replace them.

The Town arborist determined that the trees removed were not healthy; the trunks were girdled, due to stakes being in place too long. Girdling, also known as ring barking, is the complete removal of a strip of bark from around the entire circumference of a trunk or branch. Girdling cuts off interaction between the roots and the leaves, depriving parts of the tree of nutrients so that the tree or branch above the girdle will die.

Over the past few years there have also been complaints from residents about sightlines to the playground from the street. The trees were seen as a visual barrier whereby children safety and playground vandalism became a concern.

These factors, along with the girdling (efforts are being made to get ahead of girdling), were the sole determinants in the tree removal. The department of public works has committed to replacing the removed trees – one for one – throughout the park later this year.

Pelham parks tree removal decisions by the Town are carefully calculated, as the preference is always to maintain and enhance the tree canopy. However, some tree removal scenarios are unavoidable, such as the removal of Ash trees in Town.

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