Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the tree butcher of Ridge Park

I was disappointed to learn over the weekend that the tree butcher who mutilated several trees in Ridge Park last year has struck again.  The little hawthorn trees near the playground got a hefty amount of unauthorized pruning from an unknown person.  Entire branches and trunks were severed, leaving rough stumps.  Park district staff aren't thrilled about it.  Neither are TreeKeepers volunteers and folks in the neighborhood who enjoyed the natural beauty of these trees before the tree vigilante returned.

I got TreeKeeper training from professional arborists.  One of the lessons I learned was that trimming more than 1/3 of potential foliage from a tree in a single growing puts stress on the tree, causing abnormal growth patterns as the tree struggles to make up for the energy-generating capacity that was lost.  Some of these trees had as much as 1/2 to 2/3 of their potential foliage removed in a single day, creating extreme stress and making them more vulnerable to disease.  The growth that was removed will never return in any sort of natural, healthy form.  The trees will grow new branches, but they will never look normal again.

The mutilated trees shown above were much fuller before, more like the trees in the picture below.
The trees shown below (near the corner of the parking lot) were mutilated last year, presumably by the same person.

They should look more like this:

... and not like the trees below, also mutilated last year, next to one of the baseball fields.

To whoever is doing this, please STOP NOW!!!  Don't cut ANY more trees in this park or any other park.  

These trees belong to all of us.  Your actions have damaged the health of many formerly beautiful little trees and deprived us all of their former beauty.  Please leave the pruning work to those who have proper training.

If you see someone cutting trees who is not a park district employee or TreeKeeper volunteer, please report them to park district staff or the police before they can do any more damage.


Anonymous said...

People have lost their jobs ,their homes and their families in this terrible economy and you are worried about trees. Get a life..Better yet volunteer at a homeless shelter. Many of your fellow humans are suffering mare than the poor trees.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. This is typical Beverly mentality. How about pictures of families being destroyed because the breadwinner lost his/her job due to no fault of their own. Unbelievable

Fargo said...

Thanks to a neighbor, we've gotten closer to identifying the culprits and will be following up with the park district on this.

When humans are suffering, they still need places like Ridge Park. I am not belittling what has happened to so many people in this terrible economy. There are several foreclosures within 1/2 mile of home, so we've certainly seen the impact here in the neighborhood. I know plenty of people who have been laid off for no fault of their own.

However, this is a separate issue from what I'm addressing here. This is not a "Beverly mentality." There are plenty of folks from neighborhoods across the city who believe that the environment matters - from Hegewisch to Marquette Park to Little Village to Humboldt Park, Lakeview and Rogers Park.

At times like this, parks provide affordable recreation and relaxation for people who may not be able to afford vacations, concerts or other entertainments that cost real money. Parks matter more than ever when they are the only getaway some can afford.

Anonymous said...

Nice response to the earlier posters. It's never good to hack apart trees like that. I was at Ridge Park yesterday and they've managed to make a beautiful place look urban and ugly in areas. The City has an odd approach to trees; they get upset when one is cut down, but they have no compunctions about sending out apparently untrained hands to whack "their" trees, whether in the park or in front of someone's house. I wish the neighborhood had control of this function.

And I am an unemployed, struggling Beverly man.