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LETTER: City's trees are not well cared for; calls go unanswered

"We all plant trees and shrubs for their beauty and help in the removal of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and we take care to water them on our own property. Is it too much to ask our city managers to do the same?"
letter-sta

Re: "Waste of taxpayers' money for city to plant trees, shrubs, then let them die," Letters, The Gazette, July 21.

Sylvia Lafontaine’s comments on our public works department letting freshly planted trees and shrubs die though lack of watering during this current hot spell only touches a much broader mismanagement of taxpayers' money.

Walk or drive along any of our main residential connector roads and you will see dead trees, overgrown trees, broken branches, and sapling offshoots all over the boulevards between residents' back fences and the sidewalks.

Living in Lacombe Park East, I walk along Dawson Road every day. In the short distance between McKenney Avenue and Lennox Drive there are three birch trees more than six metres tall that have been dead for at least five years, and a number of willow trees that are now so overgrown they are smothering the adjacent spruce trees and lilac bushes.

After any major rainstorm or severe winds, the sidewalks are covered in broken willow branches, making it difficult for some of our senior residents to use the sidewalk.

Over the last five years I have telephoned our public works office each spring, summer, and fall and asked if they would send out a crew to remove the dead trees and prune back the willow trees. Each time I phone I am told that my call will be recorded but when I speak to an actual person, there is no record of any of my requests and no action is taken. No doubt COVID will be the excuse.

We all plant trees and shrubs for their beauty and help in the removal of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and we take care to water them on our own property. Is it too much to ask our city managers to do the same? Or do they want to pass the buck to the Spruce Up St. Albert campaign?

If this were the responsibility of private industry and their continued operation was subject to keeping their trees and shrubs alive and healthy, failure to do so would certainly result in someone losing their job. Will the city manager responsible for the trees and shrubs along our residential boulevards and city parks please stand up and resign?
 
Robert Shaw, St. Albert