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Trees, step it up!

Mike McGarry

September 22, 2011

Your correspondent showed up at the latest tree planting by Knox Parks and decided it was staffed by enough volunteers to forgo any work on our part. Personal history shows that once you pick up a shovel and get into the swing of things, time goes by as tree by tree gets planted and the spirit of comraderie takes over your day.

The decision by Knox Parks, some years ago, to rebuild Hartford's traditional tree cover was a good one. Also, by encouraging cooperation of land owners to group enough trees in a neighborhood to really make a difference is a good tactic.

However, Hartford needs to step up it's efforts in the forestry field. If the trouble our neighbor's had with fallen limbs and trees had hit the city (we really dodged the bullet this time) our dependent population: elderly, disabled, single mother with small children ... would be in tough shape. You can't run out to a stream with a bucket if you live in a third floor walk-up!

If the city saw s true hurricane, or big ice storm, or a tornado, hundreds of limbs from old trees would come down all over the city and strand thousands without power or emergency access. This 'dodged the bullet' storm had 100 or so downed limbs and trees, fairly easily handled neighbors to the east and west saw many, many more with lights out for as long as as eight days.

So, look around at all the dead or dying trees up and down our streets. Whitney Street is an example, and it is major through street. Wires whipping around the close knit homes on that street just might cause lots of harm and a major artery for emergency vehicles could be lost for a while.

The city, with the utilities, working with homeowners and businesses, should do a comprehensive survey of all our tree cover with the object to trim the healthy, cut the dead and dying. Why wait until the next storm?

About 15 years ago, we had a "rat emergency". Mayor Mike immediately got the council to authorize two million dollars to solve the problem. That is how we got the new (then) trash cans. Let's not wait until the city is dark.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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