Chesterton Tribune



Forester finds recent tree trimming in the Tamarack subdivision 'appropriate'

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Tree-trimming recently conducted by the Chesterton Street Department at the Tamarack subdivision was altogether appropriate and necessary, according to a contracted urban forester asked by Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg to investigate complaints from the Tamarack board.

In a letter forwarded to Schnadenberg, the Tamarack board in particular cited “multiple complaints from residents,” called the work “haphazard and over-zealous,” and suggested that “our trees now look horrible.”

“Beyond the aesthetic issues, we have concerns that these actions will jeopardize the long-term health of the trees,” the Tamarack board wrote. “The actions taken have gone way beyond pruning and trimming, which is normally a healthy practice.”

Not so, forester Gina Darnell advised in an Oct. 18 report to Schnadenberg.

“Do the trees look different?” Darnell wrote. “Yes, they are not so low to the ground so appear less full. They have had lower branches removed and shaped to provide clearance for pedestrians and vehicles. After pruning, trees will continue to grow up and out and become fuller, just at a higher height than before.”

“The dilemma of crabapples planted in the parkway is that they grow to a height of 25 feet and width of 25 feet at maturity and are in an 11-foot wide parkway, so in order to fit with streets and sidewalks, they need regular pruning of low branches and shaping of canopy away from the roadway and above the sidewalk,” Darnell noted. “The Chesterton Tree Care Manual . . . requires eight-foot clearance over sidewalks and 15-foot clearance over roadways at curb line. While some residents have been removing lower branches, many were not. Passing trucks were pruning extended limbs.”

“A select few pruning cuts made recently by the town may appear extreme because no pruning was ever done to these trees,” Darnell added. “Several trees prior to town pruning still had branches three to four feet above ground or had large diameter limbs extending into the street. Crabapples need pruning and on a regular basis, and clearance pruning and crown raising are normal healthy practices.”

“Overall,” Darnell concluded, “pruning cuts were appropriate as was the percentage of limbs removed. I find no evidence of practices that would cause long-term damage to trees.”

Schnadenberg, for his part, advised the council in a memo of his own that similar tree-trimming has been performed in the Olde Towne, Westwood Manor, Golfview, and Rose Hill subdivisions with no complaints. “The Olde Towne subdivision homeowners association president sent an e-mail stating that they were very happy with our trimming in their subdivision,” he stated.

Asphalt Contract

In other business, members voted unanimously to authorize Schnadenberg to prepare bid specifications for the 2018 asphalt contract, some months earlier than usual.

Schnadenberg told the council that, under the terms of the Community Crossings state infrastructure grant which will be paying for half of two big-ticket paving jobs next year, the town must submit completed asphalt contracts to the state by April 15.

The two Community Crossings projects: South Calumet Road between Porter Ave. and the Chesterton Post Office; and Wabash Ave. between North Calumet Road and Waverly Road (and then Waverly Road north to Woodlawn Ave.).


Posted 10/24/2017




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