cutting down trees
Posted by susan a. (+70) 7 years ago
Does anyone know why trees have been cut down on the street by Garfield school and by the triangle park?
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Posted by David Schott (+16504) 7 years ago
By Garfield School -- possibly related to the reconstruction of Tatro Street.

http://milescitystar.com/...o-widening

By Triangle Park -- to make way for new sidewalks and curbs. This was discussed in a recent city council meeting:

http://milescitystar.com/...rvice-town
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Posted by susan a. (+70) 7 years ago
Thank you!
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+618) 7 years ago
This thread shouldn't suffer the same abrupt end as the trees at Triangle Park. Ward 4 Councilman Dwayne Andrews offered the germ of a good policy idea to the city council but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Tree roots lifted the sidewalk surrounding the park creating a trip hazard for pedestrians. It's a common problem all over town, as are low-hanging branches over sidewalks and, naturally, the city has an interest in managing risk on public property. But shouldn't it be acknowledged that those four old-growth cottonwoods just removed were in place before the sidewalk was constructed and, therefore, had a natural right-of-way?

I'm not ready to pass judgment but I do wonder if those big cottonwoods around the perimeter of Wibaux, Riverside, Hilleman Park will one day disappear with so little forethought.

What do you think?
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Posted by UM Griz (+161) 7 years ago
Joe, while I am certainly not a proponent of deforestation of our public lands, I must note that these old growth cottonwoods provide a much more serious threat to public safety in our city parks than simply a “trip hazard”. In my VERY limited years working in and around our several parks, I have come to the conclusion that there is a true and imminent danger posed by these original arboreal inhabitants. With each brawny gust of wind, large branches descend to the terra firma like hell-fire missiles from military drones. Many of these limbs could potentially be fatal to the unsuspecting patrons of our public parks. One needs only to look up in any of our many parks to see the countless widow-makers dangling in the breeze. I truly believe that City Council should look into this issue before we lose one our citizens to outright negligence.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1910) 7 years ago
The trees need to be professionally trimmed rather than just hacked to the ground.

And, yes, many of them are reaching the end of their lifespan and will need to be replaced. But they should be replaced with more native trees. Those little boulevard trees will never provide adequate shade nor the true eastern Montana experience that those big old natives do.

It's like everything else in Miles City. We have a terminal case of short-term thinking in this town. The idea of looking down the road mystifies us.
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Posted by Sunny (+383) 7 years ago
You are right, UM Griz. We had a near miss at Waterplant Park a couple years ago.
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Posted by celeste williams (+151) 7 years ago
I shed a tear every time I see a beautiful tree cut down.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+618) 7 years ago
Granted, falling limbs from dead or unpruned trees are hazardous. I should note, however, that the nation's two largest city parks, Central Park and Bidwell Park, are both home to sycamores and oaks larger than our plains cottonwoods and yet they manage to coexist with much larger populations. The larger point is that the city should develop policy to preserve and maintain its urban canopy if we're to enjoy the benefits outlined below.

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Posted by Bart Freese (+931) 7 years ago
I don't like to see where this conversation is going. It seems anti-cottonwood.

When you first pull into Miles City crossing the Main Street bridge what is it that makes a person notice the beauty of our town? The impressive cottonwood trees. They make a real statement. Yes, branches come down, but that is no reason to start cutting down healthy trees. As for Triangle Park, the two catalpa trees taken down where not a threat to either sidewalk or pedestrian. I think their big leaves and long seed pods had more to do with their removal. Trees can be messy, but it is a small price to pay. These trees had tremendous blossoms that smelled wonderfully. As for the cottonwoods wrecking the sidewalks, I could see damage on Montana Ave, but not Leighton. Plus, these trees had matured and new side walks could have been poured following a curved pattern allowing both tree and walkers. Lots of curving sidewalks in Riverside, so why not a slight bend at Triangle Park? Every problem caused by those trees could have been solved if there had been the desire. Too late now.

Keep this up and in a few years people will start saying, "Remember how beautiful the parks use to be?"

As for planting new trees, a friend of mine had a good comment. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago." Trees take a long time to grow.

Finally, there is a historical value to the cottonwood. It is the tree of the area. The tree that helped build this part of the state.

It sure doesn't take long to tear down something wonderful.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+790) 7 years ago
Besides, the cottonwoods are native trees, who know better than to leaf out too soon and won't get hit by late frosts. Think of the wild life that make their homes in those trees. The eagles would not choose anther spot for their nest.
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Posted by Bill Bloom (-356) 7 years ago
Trees break strong winds, besides provide shade, cover for wildlife, help prevent erosion.
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Posted by Sandy Kiltie-Losing (+264) 7 years ago
The Cottonwoods in the parks are beautiful, that said Cottonwood have a much shorter lifespan than Oaks and are probably in need of some good grooming to keep them healthy and safe.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11447) 7 years ago
Yes, the native cottonwoods have a much shorter lifespan than an oak but try planting an oak tree around here and watch it die. All trees need maintenance, even those little boulevard trees. Just try to imagine Riverside Park without the mighty cottonwoods. I shudder at the thought.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+618) 7 years ago
The cottonwood was also recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a finalist for its National Tree designation so maybe a city tree policy should begin with a statement recognizing the contribution of trees, in general, and the plains cottonwood, in particular?

http://www.mtaudubon.org/...woods.html
https://www.arborday.org/...onwood.cfm

[This message has been edited by Joe Whalen (5/10/2014)]
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Posted by MRH (+1480) 7 years ago
I find it interesting, that in recent years it has been almost impossible to find a local source of green ash trees. Most are selling an ash tree that is more adapted to the western part of Montana. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Yes, I agree with those that suggest a maintenance rather than a destroy mind set, when it comes to the trees in Miles City.

[This message has been edited by MRH (5/10/2014)]
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Posted by Bart Freese (+931) 7 years ago
We need The Cottonwood Committee. If money is an issue, and I'm sure it is, fund raising could be done that is earmarked specifically for cottonwood tree maintenance.

I appreciate the work done by the parks department. I've gotten to know many of the workers over the years and they do a great job. I also know they put up with a lot of frustration including vandalism.

We've been very fortunate to have these workers keeping the parks looking so good.

While I disagree about this issue, I still say thank you overall for the job well done.

[This message has been edited by Bart Freese (5/10/2014)]
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Posted by UM Griz (+161) 7 years ago
Just to be totally clear... I am not advocating removing the cottonwoods from our parks. I was simply moving the conversation in the direction of my personal concerns. As has been stated above, it is the maintenance of these trees that is the real issue. Our city simply does not have the resources to currently solve this problem. Like I said, city council should should look into this. What I mean is, they should seriously discuss appropriating the funds needed to purchase a bucket-truck that is capable of pruning these iconic trees.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 7 years ago
Cottonwood trees were always a big part of my childhood and I'd hate to see them go. I didn't become really aware of them until my folks built our pool. After that cottonwood cotton became the bane of our lives every spring. But even though my mother complained (and still does) about the cotton, removing our mighty cottonwoods was never an option. We loved them too much.

Coincidently, when Dad passed away my neighbors here in Utah bought me a cottonwood sapling which we planted in our backyard. It flourished for 16 years before disease forced its removal. That tree caused us no end of sewer problems but we didn't think of getting rid of it until the danger of it falling on our house became too great for comfort. I miss it.
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Posted by Oddjob (+187) 7 years ago
"The cottonwood was also recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a finalist for its National Tree designation so maybe a city tree policy should begin with a statement recognizing the contribution of trees, in general, and the plains cottonwood, in particular?"

Cottonweeds

These are the contributions I remember:

--The visual pollution and fire hazard from tons of "cotton" deposited on every lawn in the Spring.

--Spring seed pod cleanup to get you in shape for Fall leaf raking.

--Spewing copious amounts of sap in Summer, that etches the paint on all of your cars.

--Shallow roots that buckle sidewalks, curbs and gutters, sewer and water lines, streets, etc.

--Firewood that is all ash and no heat.

--All the obvious hazards from having 8" diameter limbs hanging 60' over your head, house, car, neighbors, etc.

It's probably just me, but I don't miss them.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14728) 7 years ago
The cottonwoods in and around Miles City are part of a wetland ecosystem. If they are removed, it should be done with a lot of planning and care. Thought should be given as to why they are growing, where they are growing. In certain locations, removal could be legal ramifications.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11447) 7 years ago
I know Fort Keogh is involved in a project to get rid of those "wonderful" Russian olives that were introduced in the past and are crowding out native species and are trying to get cottonwoods to grow again.

Also, silver leaf maples/poplars (depending on who you ask) are NOT the same as cottonwoods. Much of the cotton people blame on the cottonwoods actually comes from the silver leafs. I love them, they are beautiful trees, but are even more problematic than cottonwoods because they are also short-lived and weak-wooded.
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Posted by cyndie (+345) 7 years ago
I can't wait to see how many children will be playing in Triangle park, this summer, when its 100 degrees and no shade. It looks disgusting!
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+591) 7 years ago
MRH- You might try the Hardin nursery/tree farm.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14728) 7 years ago
I agree with Cindy. Contact Sonny Mehling at Sonny's Greenhouse in Hardin. If he doesn't have any he will know where to send you.
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Posted by Leanne Stewart (+199) 6 years ago
I agree that Triangle Park looks really bad!! The one tree on the south end that had the most beautiful blossoms in the spring is now gone and it will take years to replace it!! I really don't see many people using it this summer because of no shade.
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Posted by JWA (+31) 6 years ago
A few years ago, Fort Keogh still had many of the original cottonwoods planted at precise intervals around the old parade field and officers quarters. Imagine the soldiers, probably the ones in trouble, having water hauling duty from the Yellowstone. Too bad there is so little left of old Fort Keogh.
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