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County: removed trees posed ‘safety risk to the public’

County: removed trees posed ‘safety risk to the public’

by Mike Robinson

CENTRE WELLINGTON - A community group has objected to the removal of four old trees along Wellington Road 18, but a county official says the trees were cut down for safety reasons.

Neighbourwoods coordinator Toni Ellis says the old sugar maples, recently cut down in front of Baker Tilly GWD (formerly Collins Barrow), had  adequate growing space.

“Old trees offer a myriad of benefits - they are carbon sinks (about eight tons per tree), provide shade, beauty, a link to our past and a home for wildlife,” Ellis wrote in a press release.

“In addition, these four (which were cut down) were serving a valuable function as nurse trees to the small sugar maple trees Neighbourwoods volunteers planted a few years ago.”

Ellis added, “Just because a tree is old and doesn’t look to be in the best of shape, is no reason to assume the only option is to chop it down,” she said.

“A qualified professional arborist should have been consulted – in all likelihood it would have been possible to extend the life of these trees through remedial measures like crown reductions.”

Wellington County road superintendent Brad Hutchinson confirmed in an email that the trees, which sat on the county road allowance, were removed by the county.

“County staff had been monitoring the condition of these trees for a few years,” he stated. “The trees were in very poor condition and posed a significant safety risk to the public.”

Ellis contends that despite a lack of maintenance over the years, few branches ever fell. However, Hutchinson told the Advertiser “dead tree limbs had been falling off on a regular basis.”

He added the county contacted the adjacent property owner and consulted with an arborist prior to removing the trees.

“Under the County’s Green Legacy Program road side trees are planted annually to replenish the tree canopy,” Hutchinson stated in his email.

April 12, 2019


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