ShareThis Page

Saturday essay: The butchering

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 9:18 p.m.

The ash tree in front of the house clearly has been in distress this year. Davey Tree most assuredly has guaranteed there will not be a next.

Leaves have been sparse since the first buds of spring on this “street tree,” a fixture for well more than a decade. Unfortunately, it was the first sign of the emerald ash borer that's making its rounds. Not long ago, Mt. Lebanon treated the tree in hopes of saving it and scores just like it.

But the treatment doesn't appear to have done much; the ash continued to struggle all summer long.

Then, last week, Davey Tree, contracted by Duquesne Light to clear branches from its lines, arrived on the scene. Not only was it the exact wrong time of the year to prune an ash — the right time would be in late winter when the tree still is dormant — the “clearing” was a butchering nonpareil.

The ash looks like a bomb hit it. And some of the cuts — resembling horizontal “topping,” one of the worst practices in tree trimming — will only invite more disease. If this tree had any chance of survival before its evisceration, it has little to none after.

Just as bad, several good-sized cut branches were left dangling dangerously above the sidewalk.

Indeed, everyone understands the need to keep power lines free of branches. But what happened to this ash and what's been happening to so many trees along Duquesne Light's power lines everywhere at the hands of Davey Tree butchers is an obscenity.

— Colin McNickle

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.