Arborists, take a bough

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

by Diana Nelson Jones/March 3

Did your neighborhood lose a lot of trees during the big snow? On my street, about six trees were seriously compromised by limb loss. Every street lost parts of trees if not a whole tree. In Allegheny Commons Park the devastation was huge.

Alida Baker of the Allegheny Commons Restoration Initiative, reports that more than 200 of the 1,000 trees in the park were damaged.A wasteland of branches and limbs in Allegheny Commons Park
A lordly elm is particularly painful to look at. It appears to be as old as God, arched over the path in several directions. On the morning of Feb. 6, one of its main branches - as big around as a well-fed adult's torso - had crashed to the ground, taking with it part of a large pine nearby. I'm profoundly saddened that the elm may not last long.

Throughout the park, trees old and less old have been ripped of limbs large and small. On that first day, the park looked like the Antietam of trees. Matt Erb, arborist for Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, said it was the worst devastation he has seen in one site.

"But a gift of tree care has come to our community," Alida wrote in an email. "More than a dozen tree care and landscaping companies, members of the International Society of Arboriculture Pen-Del Chapter, will donate a full day of service on March 12."

Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest is coordinating this event, and donations are being sought for the tree care fund and to pay for a catered lunch for the volunteer arborists.
Checks may be made payable to Northside Leadership Conference (designate Allegheny Commons in the memo) and mailed to 4 Allegheny Center Suite 601,Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Or you may donate at Click on "Tree Care Fund" on the top right of the homepage.


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