A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Monday, November 21, 2011

City Whacks Pioneer Trees - Palms Most Abused

No sooner had the pixels faded on the revelation that only Live Oaks can be Grand Trees in the City of Sarasota than we discovered major pruning underway in Pioneer Park. Cypress along Hog Creek have been shorn of their lower branches and oaks have also been attacked. Now, the City will probably argue this is another way to end homelessness or reduce liability, but this work is certainly open to question.

What is not open to question is how the City prunes cabbage palms. The accompanying picture from Pioneer Park shows how the city does it. Please note there are only about a half dozen fronds left on the tree in the foreground and those few fronds point almost straight up.

Healthy Cabbage Palms dramatically overpruned by City Staff

This approach is completely contrary to the Tree Care Industry Association American National Standard ANSI A300 (Part 1)- 2008 that states: "8.3 Live healthy fronds about horizontal shall not be removed. Exception: Palms encroaching on electric supply lines."  

The International Society of Arborculture best management practices use nearly identical language: "Live healthy fronds should not be removed. If they must be removed however, avoid removing those that initiate above the horizontal."

The City of Sarasota is not doing right by our trees. Please ask Commissioners for some external review of the city's policies and practices.