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Butchery of trees helps nobody

March 16, 2008

Re "Torn limb from limb," Opinion, March 12

Sara Catania deserves plaudits for pointing out the horrible things we do to our trees, most of it in the name of convenience. Not only are we losing that carbon absorption, but she doesn't even touch on the issue of all that pointless green waste. Enough is enough. Let's save our trees and save ourselves.

Janet K. Schwartzkopf

Palm Springs

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At last, someone is bringing to a public forum the horrifying butchery of mature trees around here. Where I come from in Minnesota, trees grow slowly, and a full-grown one is a precious commodity. The first time a city crew arrived and lopped off all the branches on our beautiful median trees, I thought it must be because they were diseased and being cut down. But no -- they came back a few years later and did it again. What is the logic of taking down all the shade just in time for summer? Do these trimmers have any training (or restraint)? One of our majestic eucalyptuses -- which had survived from Irvine's ranching days -- didn't make it last year after nearly all its leaves were cut off. Now we have an ugly hole with a pitiful little sapling where a beautiful, healthy giant once stood -- all because of an untrained and undersupervised crew of laborers with chain saws.

Kristy McTaggart

Irvine

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I second every point by Cantania about the wrongness of spring tree pruning, and I write to add a few. Safe pruning should only be done when sap is retreating, in late summer and fall. Given that spring starts in Los Angeles in what is winter across most of the country, the sap begins rising shortly after the winter solstice. Pruning from February through May means that already stressed city trees bleed a winter's store of nutrition that should be going to the plant. But even if a tree can stand it, our loveliest birds cannot. Bird-nesting season begins in Los Angeles in February. Hummingbirds are already brooding, and the tree limbs will be full of nests until July.

Emily Green

Los Angeles

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