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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 .

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 , 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.

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Pete May 25, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I've been meaning to ask the Editors to investigate why the town is taking out all the sycamore trees in Lake Hiawatha... most if not all of them show no evidence of rot on the sections left alongside the roads. What's going on, that we all-of-a-sudden need to have so many trees removed ? Has someone decided that "blacktop" is better than "green" ?? BTW, I never heard of a tree with a "15-year lifespan".
Natalie Davis (Editor) May 25, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Read the linked article. It explains that the Bradford pear, which was used by many municipalities until its flaws were discovered, is a hybrid variety, and with a hybrid, anything can happen. Also, it's not so much that the lifespan is 15 years, it's that it takes roughly that amount of time for the flaws to emerge. With careful pruning, they can last longer.
Natalie Davis (Editor) May 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Re: the sycamores in Lake Hiawatha, here is the explanation from Jim Walsh: "These trees were removed as part of the road improvement project going on in that area. Not all trees are removed during these projects only the ones that are directly in the line of construction or those that their root systems will be so disturbed during construction that they will not be able to survive. As with all the road improvement projects we will be replacing the removed trees with new ones."
PatchLover May 25, 2012 at 07:17 PM
It took this township almost 9 months to remove the tree stumps but the trees still needs grinding. Mr. Walsh and the Mayor needs to come up with the plan that allows the homeowners (if they so choose) to plant the recommended tree and to reimburse the homeowner up to certain amount so that it does not take many years to replant. Forestry departmet is too slow in responding to the October storm. We still have many ugly looking trees on some of the streets with only few branches. Another option is to hire few lanscapers to replant the lost trees.
Jonathan Nelson May 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM
@patchlover, I would expand on what you wrote and state that many homeowners would gladly pay out of pocket for a new tree as long as Parks and Forestry grinds the stumps down. Many of the newer neighborhoods in town have nothing more than a mound of mulch in front of each home.

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