Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The City of Wichita forestry division expects to cut 6,000 dead trees this year, which is twice as many as they cut last year, because of dry conditions.
"My desire is to have trees line streets, that are canopied and beautiful, and make neighborhoods all across the city a better place to live, but right now we're just struggling to see that," said Gary Farris, city's arborist.
Each year, the forestry division is required to evaluate the safety of the trees on city owned golf courses, city parks, and the right of ways, which are located between the sidewalk and the curb.
Farris said drought-like conditions add to the stress on the trees and slowly kills them. He expects to see the results of this year and last year's dry periods to be seen for the next five to ten years.
"As days, months, and years pass, those dead limbs, dead trees become less and less structurally sound, so we want to respond as quickly as we possibly can," said Farris.
The silver maple tree in front of Frances Logan's home is one of the trees that had to be cut.
"A little bit sad but it's just a matter of life. Things come, things go. I mean things last for a while," said Logan, who received the tree as a Mother's Day present in 1984.
After the assessments, city works will cut down the dead trees and will return to smooth out the stump, at no cost to the homeowner. If budgets allow, the city may replant a tree, but Logan will likely get a free permit to plant her own.
"I'm looking forward to whatever happens. If they plant one or if they don't, we'll probably just do it ourselves," she said.
Farris said assessments will continue until October, while the tree removals will last until the end of April.
If you get a red colored notice card from the city, they want to remind homeowners that it is not a scheduling card. If you have any questions, call 268-4004 or 268-4003 between the hours of 7:30-8:30 a.m. or 3-3:30 p.m.