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Inglewood: Who Ordered Tree Mutilations on 4th Ave?

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INSIDE INGLEWOOD - On a short stretch of 4th Avenue, the City of Inglewood Parks & Rec department spent nearly a month heavily pruning select trees.

No one at Parks & Recreation or in council member Dotson’s office appears to know who ordered the work.   

The Chronicle first reported the tree work in the July 26 edition in the story, “Dotson gives his frontage a manicure.”   

The city’s municipal code states in Sections 12-110 and 12-124 that “in order to ensure that such tree work is in conformance with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) standards...violation of any provisions of this Article shall be chargeable as a misdemeanor.”   

The stretch of street—starting immediately north of councilman George Dotson’s house and extending south past Hardy Avenue.   

The trees were rounded and many of them nearly shorn of their leaves.   

According to ISA Certified Arborist and Forestry Education Manager Linda Eremita, the pruning on 4th Avenue “is troubling.”   

When reached for comment regarding who ordered the pruning, council assistant Alicia Smith could only comment “I don’t know.” She later sent an e-mail suggesting someone at Parks & Rec would know.   

At the number provided, a woman suggested Harry Frisbee and Manuel Del Real. Frisbee is the Superintendent of Parks in Inglewood; Del Real is the Senior Tree Trimmer. E-mails and multiple telephone calls to Frisbee and Deal Real were not returned.   

The ISA Arborist had quite a bit to stated after viewing the photographic evidence.  “What many people don’t realize is this type of pruning will only make future pruning needs worse—the trees will grow back faster and put out more branches than were there before, thus compounding the problem.   

“Whoever pruned the trees in the photo you sent me are accomplishing neither by pruning this way. It creates more work (costing the city more money), more wounds on the tree (every time you cut a tree, you wound it, affecting its health and longevity), and makes the tree less safe (the resulting branches will grow into the wires quicker and are weakly attached, more likely to break off in a storm).   

“The city or the company who was contracted to do the work, must not be certified arborists or certified tree workers. It’s not difficult to understand or learn how to prune properly. This should be required. There are national tree care standards—ANSI A300 Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance—Standard Practices (Pruning) to protect us and the trees. Trees are living things, and contribute greatly to the health of the city, but only if cared for properly.”   

Inglewood is enduring a structural deficit. A structural deficit occurs when a municipality, etc., posts a deficit even when the economy is operating at its full potential. As such, one wonders why the City of Inglewood would spend the tens of thousands of dollars over a four-week period to prune trees just in time for the annual 4th Avenue Block Club Party—and only near Dotson’s house.    

One also wonders how many millions of dollars will be wasted should every one-block stretch in Inglewood require a month just to prune some of the trees.    

Or will the City of Inglewood stop now that the trees along the short stretch of street in front of Dotson’s house have been “mal-pruned” and mangled to the tune of perhaps $25,000 or more?   

At the July 17 Block Club Captains meeting, Dotson said, “I’m working with every department head. I will give you an explanation what we’ve got going on and why.

“And I will come to these meetings and tell you.”

 

(Randall Fleming is a veteran journalist and magazine publisher. He has worked at and for the New York Post, the Brooklyn Spectator and the Los Feliz Ledger. He is currently editor-in-chief at the Morningside Park Chronicle, a monthly newspaper based in Inglewood, CA and on-line at www.MorningsideParkChronicle.com)

-cw

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 67

Pub: Aug 20, 2013