Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 3, 2014

TUCKER: Tree removal questions abound

Tonawanda News — If spring would only come, the magnolia tree in the front yard would bloom magnificently. The buds are full and pink, but they need a couple of warm days for their glorious display.

Speaking of spring, Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Depew sent a press release about its summer camp program for kids.

If you’ve never been to Reinstein Woods, spring is a beautiful time to visit.

Reinstein Woods is off Como Park Boulevard — talk about a secret location — on Honorine Drive. Here’s a chance to see wildlife, birds and varieties of trees as well as great walking paths and a wonderful education center set on unique 292-acre complex of forests, ponds, and wetlands surrounded by suburban development. Reinstein Woods offers a variety of opportunities to explore and learn about nature for families and people of all ages — and they offer tours of the woods — all free.

•••

Speaking of the environment, a large crew worked on taking debris from the Erie Canal along Sweeney Street last Saturday. They were able to retrieve an enormous amount of branches, logs, and more — all while it was raining. Kudos to them.

•••

Be sure to attend the Tonawanda City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday for a clarification on the removal of 500 trees in the city.

Recently I emailed the mayor regarding my own concerns about the tree removal, having just attended a meeting of the New York Forest Owners. The forester/arborist who spoke was concerned when told about Tonawanda’s plan.

The mayor emailed back, saying that last fall the city completed a comprehensive tree inventory of more than 6,000 city trees.

“The study encompassed GPS locating every city tree, annotated the kind of tree, and multiple condition issues and factors of those trees,” Mayor Davis said. “This study was accomplished by five certified state arborists with the lead arborist being a lifelong city resident. ... This really can be recapped with the city being overly optimistic on trying to save trees from the October 2006 Storm, the city’s lack of maintenance schedule, the Emerald Ash Borer, and the life expectancy of many city trees planted at the same time. The findings of this comprehensive study indicated that a little more than 400 trees needed to come down.”

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