We’ve been getting several complaints about tree pruners working the area and not offering any protection to pedestrians or homeowners. These photos were taken on two consecutive April mornings on 74th Street near Caldwell Avenue. The limbs were falling in people's yards and across the sidewalks, causing danger to the public and private property damage.
Industry safety procedures dictate that there must be an operator in the bucket above and a ground man below, but as you can see, the bucket man here has been left alone by the ground man. That ground man is supposed to be there not only to communicate the intentions and needs of the bucket and chainsaw operator but also to address public safety needs on the ground below.
What is most disturbing is that this contractor and all other street tree pruning contractors hired by Parks Forestry is that for this there is no supervision or oversight provided by the contracting agency. There is no consulting arborist to ensure that they are delivering a service that is compliant with the established industry standards. These low bidders are on their own and off-the-leash. Due to that lack of supervision, this particular tree trimmer outfit (we refrain from calling them arborists) will excessively remove from the tree more wood and live branches (about to send out new essential leaves) than what is necessary or beneficial to the tree.
Last November, a Chinese food deliveryman on a bicycle was killed by a falling tree being cut down by another Parks Department contractor. Has Parks learned nothing and changed none of their policies as a result of that tragedy? What is the consequence to the contractor when he is caught not providing a flagman and public safety protocols? Does anyone care? The week before these photos were taken, a neighbor on 75th Street spoke to one of the workers about doing some private work and the company cut down a beautiful cherry blossom tree. They should not be doing private work while under contract with the City.