Pruning mistakes were not made

I wish to set the record straight on some comments about trees in Legion Park, particularly the statements in a Herald article and an editorial that “trees were improperly pruned or topped, which facilitated rot” and that “with so many cases of improper pruning and topping, what safeguards are in place to minimize future screw-ups?”

I don’t know where the idea of poor pruning and “screw-ups” came from. I was hired as the urban forester by Everett Parks in 1989 as a tree expert, an ISA certified arborist, with a master of science degree in forestry and a great deal of practical experience in tree care. I personally supervised my crews, certified arborists and their helpers, in properly pruning trees in Legion Park from 1989 and for the next 16 years.

The wide variety of trees there, especially the big leaf maples, were a joy to work in because of the natural growth habit they exhibit, since they had never been submitted to the practice of topping, which of course promotes decay and tree failure. Before that time, topping had been standard practice along Everett’s streetscapes, especially for the large trees like big leaf maples on Rucker, Hoyt and Grand avenues. In fact, the trees in Legion Park showed little evidence of prior pruning and had been left to grow without much obvious maintenance. It is true that the location on the bluff exposes the park trees to wind so that branches and tops have occasionally blown out of the trees which require corrective pruning. There were no “screw-ups” and proper pruning has been accomplished by the parks professional staff of certified arborists since at least 1989.

Problems with tree health in Legion Park are not a result of improper pruning, and the current parks staff of certified arborists does a completely professional job of tree care in Legion Park and parks throughout Everett.

Libbie Soden

Lake Stevens

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