Parks Super: Tree Removal to Take 'Several Years'
Evaluation process should begin soon.
The superintendent of Parsippany’s Parks and Forestry Department said in January many Bradford pear trees throughout the town would have to be removed.
Nearly six months later, James Walsh says the process has not yet started.
According to Walsh, the township has not yet determined exactly which pear trees will go. The superintendent said, however, that the process should begin shortly.
“The pear trees, along with other street trees within the township right of ways that were damaged during the Oct. 30 storm will be evaluated on an individual and neighborhood basis as to whether they will be removed,” Walsh said.
The removal is necessary because of a genetic flaw iin the Bradford pears.
The Bradford is a cultivated hybrid of the Callery pear tree. Thirty years ago, foresters made this pear its go-to town tree because it grew rapidly, it was attractive and it didn't require the painstaking maintenance other tree varieties did.
By the late 1980s and early '90s, the Bradford pear's downshide appeared..
"The Bradford pear is a wet wood," explained Joe Jannarone Sr., the Parsippany forester who planted the trees decades ago. "As the trees grow, sometimes the branches don't grow in the correct manner. Say you have two branches competing for space. As they grow together, they push together until eventually the branch pushes away and breaks off."
Jannerone told Patch in January that when the tree goes beyond its normal 15-year lifespan,the moisture it has collected over the years can cause the weight of the branches to cause them to break.
This, as was pointed out to the Township Council last November by citizen John Puglis, can create dangerous, even potentially deadly situations for residents.
Acknowledging the problem, Walsh agreed almost six months ago that most of the trees would have to go. Finally, the process is expected to get underway soon.
Walsh warned that residents should not expect a resolution overnight.
“This will be a very lengthy process which will take several years to complete,” he said.
Once it begins, though, Walsh has an idea where the tree removal will begin.
“We will probably start in the western part of town for potential removal of street trees,” he said.
Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone each day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast, sign-up here.