CDN/NDG has 5-year tree trimming backlog | City News
Jean-François Munn was patient. Even more so than Mother Nature, who sent a huge branch from one of the two large silver maples to the ground in front of his Harvard property.
For four decades, says the NDG resident, the city has felled trees every two years. “For more than 10 years they have only been doing this on request.” In 2011 he made an inquiry, concerned about the limbs above the sidewalk and the street being dangerous to passers-by. The request was repeated less than a year later, “because nothing happened. I was informed that the file was lost, ”he told The Suburban.
No pruning despite repeated demands and city crews posting “No Parking” signs on site, which were removed five days later. According to the city, the signs were removed and the job was not done due to rain. The crews never returned.
That said, it wasn’t until 2017, after a giant branch fell on his vehicle parked on the roadside, causing roughly $ 12,000 in damage, a cost that the city immediately and completely assumed. “They came after it quickly,” he says, the work order was urgent, “but only for the tree that lost the branch,” not for his partner, who is a few meters away. “I asked her why not circumcise the other one too?” He was told, “The work order was only for this tree.”
Munn made another pruning request last year before another branch fell, this from the second tree that was ignored on the last visit. As requested, he submitted additional photos and was instructed that a crew would assess the risk. They left a door hanger and stated that both trees would be pruned. After being followed up again, he was “told the job would be done within 12 to 18 months”. That was in October 2019, then the pandemic that further slowed the bureaucratic pace of the glaciers.
“I have sent pictures to the community in which I reiterated my request while also emphasizing the danger if one of these branches falls on a person: it could kill them or seriously injure them, see what it did to my car.”
In May, July and September of that year, he followed up again to inform the city that animals were digging between roots and trunks, possibly further damaging the trees. “Nothing was done except to tell me that experts assessed the danger and the request is on its way.”
Tree pruning and tending has been behind schedule for at least seven years, said Munn Alderman Peter McQueen, who told The Suburban: “About three years ago we started giving the private sector contracts to catch up. They assess the hazard level of each tree and arrange them according to priority. “According to McQueen, COVID caused further delays,” and some priority trees have now been postponed until spring. “
The district mayor’s office Sue Montgomery stated that the horticultural team believed that the tree in question posed a priority 3 (out of 5) rather than an immediate health and safety risk, and crews should prioritize what is considered immediate imminent danger. “Unfortunately, there is a historical backlog,” said Montgomery. “To eliminate this backlog, the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district has provided two million dollars over a period of five years. Anyone whose tree needs maintenance should contact 311 service. “
This is of no help to Munn at the moment: It has been more than 12 months since his last inquiry, and more than nine years since the first. So his waiting game continues. “They are dangerous and maybe even fatal,” city documents say.
“They are your responsibility and you neglect their maintenance. I hope it won’t take an accident for you to act. You can’t pretend you aren’t aware of this. “