Rich Kordesh’s viewpoint on the pruning of fruit trees [Viewpoints, Feb. 27] set off a sad and angry reaction in me. His advice holds well for the trees to which he referred, young fruit-bearing trees, but those same arguments have been used by the local tree trimmers to denude the giant, beautiful old oak at the corner of Taylor and Thomas, as well as other large old trees in the neighborhood.

Trees this size (10 feet around, 6 inches off the ground) already have a “solid core,” unlike young growing trees. The limbs that old trees have grown are what they need to live by and these are the “desirable pathways” that the tree has already established. To take off dead limbs makes sense; to take off a very few live limbs that someone judges might be or become a problem, O.K. But Winkler Tree Service is way over-trimming old trees. Moving vans have been coming through here without a scratch; nor was this tree touching a single roof. I counted 105 large, live limbs on the ground around this formerly beautiful oak!

I think the motivation behind this excessive trimming is more related to the view Mr. Kordesh expressed: “Pruning … helps to avoid the unproductive chaos that would result from branches and shoots extending, small and large, in conflicting directions.” In other words, the arborists don’t like the looks of the tree. “Natural” equals chaotic to them; we must, as always, control nature. This oak was “messy” in their judgment, just growing as it felt like growing. The naturally beautifully-shaped lindens across the street are now skinny and their lovely shape ruined. It doesn’t seem that education as certified arborists included any discussion on what is “beauty.”

I also object to continuing to force trees to grow bigger and bigger. Soon there’ll be no sunlight in Oak Park, nor will us little humans walking on the sidewalk be able to enjoy the loveliness of leaves and swaying branches within our eyes’ view. We’ll be living in Sequoia National Forest! An amazing place to visit but not exactly a natural place to live.

Marti Matthews
Oak Park

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