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Citizen complaint of the day: Why is one city department choking the trees another department planted?

Fenway tree choker

A concerned citizen spotted tree choking on Burbank Street in the Fenway:

Plastic ties used by BTD to affix parking ban sign to recently planted katsura tree on burbank st. if left the way they are they will literally choke the tree and kill it, losing how many hundreds of dollars per tree? this is nothing short of city sponsored tree vandalism.

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Comments

Adding 3 feet to both sidewalks:
1. Doesn't look safe for a bicycle to fit along side a car.
2. Limits options when the City changes traffic patterns next time.
3. Seems unneeded for likely pedestrian traffic volumes.

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Just remove the free, government subsidized parking off of the public way and there'd be four-and-a-half to nine more feet in the right-of-way to work with.

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Mark, you're clueless about this street. It sees more pedestrians and bicycles than cars on a daily basis. The width of Burbank Street hasn't changed since it was laid out as Astor Street in the late 1880s.

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I think it looks fine for bikes. Given that there is no bike lane, they can just drive themselves right down the middle of the street as they are allowed to do as another user of the street. It's a fairly quiet, residential street in the Fenway, no car needs to be hauling ass down the street. So no need to fit alongside a car. Seems like a solution to the non-problem you've presented.

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Unless the bark was sliced at least a half circle and more, wouldn't the tree grow until it's circumference become larger than the tie and break it? Worst case, the tree would grow over the tie and there would be a weird hump. Either case, I've seen trees that have grown THROUGH fences, I doubt a plastic tie will stop it.

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and take a walk in the woods. You'll find trees grown around old 1800s manual plows and 1940s cars. It's fun.

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I've seen larger trees killed by encircling garden twine and fishing line. All of the flow of water and nutrients in a tree is in a very thin layer under the bark and it doesn't take much to interrupt it. Trees can grow around things that impale them or lean against them because some viable vascular tissue remains but when there is something encircling the flow stops and the tree dies.

This citizen complaint is completely valid and BTD or whoever used zip ties on a tree is completely irresponsible.

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An old landlord of mine used dental floss to tie his poor yew hedge back to the house. He was so proud of his clever, DIY tricks. By the time I lived there, the caliper below the loop of floss was twice the diameter of the stem above the floss, and the previous decade's needles were a mere 1/4" long. I'm still astonished that they managed to live at all under those conditions. Kind of amazing.

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Yup, It was no easy task removing the old nasty chainlink fence from my property since it was embedded in a few trees. We kept the trees and just cut the fence. It was clear through the middle of trees as big around as an average size man.

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No, if you damage the entire circumference of the tree, it prevents nutrients from being transported and kills the tree.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1399678/scien...

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probably take less energy than this complaint

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I also would just take out my leatherman and slice it off, but the poster probably realized that even if that worked for the tree in front of him, that's hardly a solution to the more general problem. It's a toughie - my first thought - just replace the zip-ties with a staper - won't work if the sign has to go around a metal post or cement light fixture, et al. A roll of low-tack tape might be the best solution, and likely cheaper than zip ties as well.

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is not good for them either.

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If they heal when you trim off a whole branch, I doubt a staple or two would do any harm.

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Proper pruning with clean, sharp equipment allows for efficient healing, because the tree can compartmentalize the damaged areas to protect the rest of the tree. Sort like the way we humans form scar tissue, but more critical. Otherwise damage to bark tissue has the potential to introduce pathogens into a living system. Not good.

Anything that penetrates through the bark (like construction staples, or nails holding a clothesline) ups the ante by providing a route for pathogens directly into the vascular system of the tree. As the above Arborist posted, that system is located right below the bark, in a very thin layer.

So anyone who wants to cut these zip ties off will do best for the tree by avoiding cutting through the bark with their Leatherman. And thanks to anyone who's up for liberating our common trees from that plastic torture!

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But by whomever requested the no parking signs.

From the BTD website:

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to post all necessary signs a minimum of 48 hours prior to the start of work in residential neighborhoods and a minimum of 24 hours prior to the start of work in non-residential areas. Signs must be purchased at a cost of $4.00 each with a minimum of two "No Parking" signs required.

The City provides the signs, but not the means to affix the signs.

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A city spokeswoman e-mail the Hub Cave with word from BTD:

We do not put them on trees. These are temporary signs that people receive when they obtain a moving or construction permit. We actually instruct them not to put them on trees for it is they who hang them. We hang temp signs for city endorsed special events.

She adds that even those those are not BTD ties, BTD's dispatching somebody to snip the bands.

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I knew it couldn't be them. It's out of scope. Their job is to choke the city with traffic.

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