Cutting down trees that have become hazardous |

Cutting down trees that have become hazardous

Amanda Hammon

Many trees on the west side of Carson City are old – old enough that some of them are hazards.

The Carson City Street Department started cutting a swath of hazardous trees, and the way they’re cutting the trees has generated a few second looks.

The trees are being “stubbed out.” The street department rented a truck that could extend to 90 feet so workers could cut the tallest portions of the trees first, Street Operations Manager John Flansberg said.

The truck is expensive, $6,900 a month, and Flansberg said the department is trying to get as many trees stubbed as possible.

“We’re taking the tops and heavy limbs off while we have an ‘aerial foot’ that will go up to 90 feet, and then we’ll take the smaller portions down with our truck,” Flansberg said.

City Supervisor Kay Bennett said in Thursday’s board of supervisor’s meeting she was disappointed that the city was losing part of its history by removing the trees.

An October 1999 report by city arborist Molly Sinnott found at least 18 trees which immediately needed to be removed. About 50 cottonwood, box elder and silver maple trees situated within city street right-of-way were given hazardous ratings. Many trees are in a state of decay or are hollow, causing a potentially dangerous situation.

“We do not want to take any trees down that we don’t have to,” Flansberg said. “When they’re an immediate hazard to the public, we have to take them down. At that point they’re a liability.”

Flansberg said he couldn’t replace the trees, but he said he was working with the the city’s Shade Tree Council on a replacement program.

Wood from the felled trees is taken to the city’s corporate yard and cut for firewood. Expect to see the 90-foot aerial truck in the Division, Nevada and Mountain streets area until mid-February.