|Cherrywood Neighborhood Assn. Home Austin TX 78722 GOOGLE Advanced Search|
|[ 06Jan19]||[Parks & Greenspaces ]|
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Cherrywood Green Mowing Brigade
|Over the last few years of the Cherrywood Green initiative, many of our neighbors have donated time, sweat, and encouragement to make the Green an ongoing reality. Yet, it never fails that I receive calls or emails from people who want to participate in some way, but for whatever reason (scheduling, family, or work conflicts) have not been able.
Last year the Friends of Cherrywood Green initiated a "mowing brigade" in an effort to expand opportunities for involvement on your own schedule. It turned out to be a great success and we're continuing the brigade this year. To volunteer just pick a month, then contact me with your name, phone, email, and your month of choice:
Responsibility of each volunteer: Mow the Green twice during your month. Just mowing is needed, not edging, weeding, or watering.
You supply : Your lawnmower, gas, and time.
I will: Give you a friendly reminder as your month approaches. . Ask that you inform me if you are unable to fulfill your commitment, so somebody else can have the opportunity to participate. . Send an email to this listserv recognizing and thanking the participants as soon as things are arranged. Recognize and thank the Mowing Brigade in the Flea towards the end of the season.
If several people request the same month, I'll contact the individuals and we'll work something out. Compromise is the name of the game. As always, thanks for helping to keep this neighborhood a great place to live,
- Brent Hay -
| From: Girard Kinney <girard(at)kinneyarchitects.com>
To: George Maldonado <george.maldonado[at]ci.austin.tx.us>, Dick Finnegan <dick.finnegan[at]ci.austin.tx.us>, Warren Struss <warren.struss[at]ci.austin.tx.us>, Brent Hay <pacohay[at]hotmail.com>, Mike Damal <mdamal[at]peoplepc.com>, Dave Westenbarger <daveintex13[at]yahoo.com>, Katharine Beisner <kbeisner[at]grandecom.net>, Maddie Kadas <mkadas[at]bdlaw.com>, Brent Hay <pacohay[at]hotmail.com>, "Madeleine (Maddie) Kadas" <MCKadas[at]austin.rr.com>, Chris Kadas <Chris[at]license.state.tx.us>, Eva Riquelme <eva_riquelme[at]hotmail.com>, "Christopher (Chris) Buitron" <christopher_buitron[at]hotmail.com>, Jimmy Harper <jwharp[at]grandecom.net>, Gordon Bennett <gordonb[at]uts.cc.utexas.edu>, Michael McClendon <michaelmcclendon[at]juno.com>, Jack Newman <jack[at]jackjoseynewman.com>, Mike Damal <mdamal[at]peoplepc.com>, Dave Westenbarger <daveintex13[at]yahoo.com>, Kathy Jones <kathymurrayjones[at]yahoo.com>, Rebecca Kohout <rakohout[at]grandecom.net>, Stefan Schuster <hydroplan[at]hotmail.com>, Jack Newman <JackJN[at]grandecom.net>, Maddie Kadas <mkadas[at]bdlaw.com>, Sue Taylor <sgt4000[at]earthlink.net>, Charlie Roadman <croadman[at]austin.rr.com>, Jennifer Smith <JenSmith[at]austin.rr.com>, Jim Walker <jhwalker[at]austincc.edu>, Jeff Folmar <jfolmar[at]austin.rr.com>, "J. Scott Chasteen" <JSChasteen[at]hotmail.com>, "Madeleine (Maddie) Kadas" <MCKadas[at]austin.rr.com>, Peter Ketter <peterketter[at]hotmail.com>, Lex Dale Owens <lexdale[at]hotmail.com>, "J. Scott Chasteen" <schasteen[at]naiarchitecture.com>, Peter Ketter <ketterbird[at]grandecom.net>, Jennifer Smith <Jennifer_R_Smith[at]Dell.com>, Randall Terrell <rterrell[at]starbirdterrell.com>, Jennifer Eisner <Jennifer[at]Viewers-Like-You.Com>, Maddie Kadas <mkadas2[at]austin.rr.com>, Kyle King <KWK94[at]hotmail.com>, Maxwell McDaniel <maxwell[at]AustinPlusHomes.com>, Bethany Andree <artstuff[at]grandecom.net>, Mike Damal <mdamal[at]peoplepc.com>
Subject: Water Tap Report
Messrs Maldonado and Finnegan:
Thank you for meeting Brent Hay and me at Cherrywood Green Park Friday morning, and for working with us toward our goal of having water there. Here is what I understand we agreed upon, and what the sequence of actions will be:
Brent Hay has faxed the Agreement for Messrs Maldonado and Finnegan to use to create an Amendment reflecting this understanding.
I have cc'd key folks, including Brent Hay and Mike Damal, both of whom have been involved in the recent negotiations. We did not discuss Inspections, but I believe the understanding is that costs, if any, for meter drop or inspections are being picked up by the City. Thank you again for your very enthusiastic help!
|The delightful pocket park at East 37th and Corcordia
has a graceful shade tree. An anonymous donor has added a picnic table. Anonymous volunteers have mowed it. Although a tiny triangle, a it’s welcome respite for joggers. Is it time to give the neighborly mini-space a name? Let’s take a poll, and thensee what the Steering Committee thinks.
The 1-question poll should take but minute. Review these suggestions, then vote for one.
|Posting 04Jun29 by "Chris CHRIS@license.state.tx.us|
|Garage Sale -- forgot to mention
I spoke with Jean Crow at APF and she encouraged us to apply, even if Parks and Rec. doesn't "manage" the space.
She said to emphasize any contacts that we've had with the city, and specifically the Parks and Rec. department. This is all in spite of language in the grant criteria that says it must be managed by the city. I take that as a green light to move forward with an application, if we want to. Given that, and the uncertain status of the water line, I think it would make sense to consider other possible projects in an application.
One of the nine projects that received funding last year was a sign/community information board, and something like that might be a good fit for the green. I think we've also talked about something to deal with the dog poop, like the mit dispensers that the city has down at Town Lake. I recommend that folks look at the list of projects from last years.
The deadline for applications is applications is July 16, so why don't we take a week or so, and everyone brainstorm ideas, and then maybe we can meet to agree on a single project, if appropriate, that would be submitted?
Open to suggestions, Chris
Attending: Isabelle Headrick, Mark Smolen, Brent Hay, Jimmy Harper, Leigh Gorman, Anita Prewett, and Priscilla Boston
|The Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation and Applied Materials have expressed interest in sponsoring a workday at Patterson Park that might involve building a stroller/wheelchair accessible path from Wilshire Blvd to the playground or site preparation for a new playscape. This would probably occur some Saturday in the fall . September 13 is one date being considered. They are interested in knowing how many members of the community would show up to participate, either in doing the labor, giving out drinks, etc. If you or a family member could join in this effort, would you please let me know? (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Thanks to all who showed up for the park workday at 34th and Cherrywood, it was a great success.
Our accomplishments included
It was a beautiful day and we got a lot done. Highlights included finding cash register drawers and calling in the police to investigate!! The lot already looks better. We're off to a great start.
Coming soon, a week night meeting to finalize the site plan and determine next steps.
Thanks again, it was really fun working with you.
| The following announcement comes from the Austin Parks Foundation
< http://www.austin360.com/community/groups/APF/index.html >
via the Austin Neighborhoods Council. Of the projects they supported last
year (their inaugural grant cycle), the closest to us is Bartholomew Park
(details on their Web site under [Portfolio]).... /g
o - - - - - - - - - - - - APF Grants info - - - - - - - - - - - - o
O - - - - - - - - - - - - APF Grants info- - - - - - - - - - - - O
>Austin Parks Foundation Announces Neighborhood Park Grants Program
|The Austin Parks Foundation will provide matching grants to neighborhood and community groups interested in enhancing and revitalizing public parks and green space. The grants offered range from $300 to $2,500 and are available for park beautification projects, new and enhanced programs, and community events that bring neighborhood parks to life.The deadline for applications is June 15. For more information, call Jonathan Neumann at 477-1566. Jim & Scheleen Walker <email@example.com>|
|Girard <girard@firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: We were well represented today at the Parks Series of the Neighborhood Academy at ACC, Eastview Campus. One Sponsor/presenter/facilitator was Jonathan Neumann, Outreach Coordinator for the Austin Parks Foundation (Jonathan lives on Breeze Terrace). Also present were Gail Greenleaf, Jules Vieau and me.
Councilmember Beverly Griffith, who talked about Traditional Neighborhoods and the Parkland Dedication Ordinance (which she says is currently "under siege" and needs not only protecting but strengthening), was a spokesperson at the morning session). She urges activism in the areas of:
Overall, it was a good experience. Jules and I are planning to attend next Saturday, but I have a conflict the following Saturday (10 March) and I am trying to find someone to go in my place.
|~~~~ Claudia writes ~~~~
It sounds good but again a dose of reality. Few if any folks are going to pull up weeds by hand and certainly I am not going to get anywhere near poison ivy most folks are very allergic to it. Most people don't have the time or energy after putting in a long days at work to go out and pull up weeds. I know it is all i can do to muster enough energy to mow my own grass. I do what I can by picking up trash and sometimes mowing areas by my house when I can't take the overgrowth any more. I still believe the vast majority of folks just want it mowed before it gets knee high.
~~~~ Girard writes ~~~~
~~~~ Katy writes ~~~~
|~~~~ Gale Greenleaf <email@example.com> writes ~~~~
Mike Leyday is Watershed's plant expert and an enthusiastic supporter of native plants, flowers, and less mowing - he says mowing only encourages poison ivy and mowing when the johnson grass has gone to seed only helps disseminate the seeds. He called me today to let us know that he and a crew went out yesterday to do what they could with the poison ivy on Willowbrook greenbelt.
They used herbicide on the ivy that is on the ground, and they cut back the vines growing on the trees at the east end of the 'belt. However, he was afraid to use too much herbicide there, because it might harm the trees. He did use some. So if you are walking there in the next couple of days try to avoid going near any of it so you and your dogs won't come in contact with the poison.
It's up to us now, folks. When and if we notice the vines starting to encroach on the trees, we ought to contact the CNA parks committee and maybe have a work day to cut the vines back or even dig them up. That is really the best way to control it. I say control because in such a big space it is next to impossible to eradicate it. Try walking on Barton Creek greenbelt - poison ivy is everywhere!
Mike also thought we could get a significant reduction in beggar's ticks and johnson grass if each of us every time we walk pulls up a few plants in the late winter or early spring, when the ground is wet and they are easy to pull up. He had to the same thing with that nasty sticker grass some horses introduced onto his property. It sounds silly to weed a whole greenbelt, but with the volume of people who walk there every day, I'm sure we could have an impact more significant than mowing. (Both of those plants are only temporarily discouraged by mowing.) Maybe if I'm not bugging everybody too much I'll send out a reminder in January and we can give it a try!
|Saturday morning, May 13, the Parks and Greenspace Committee revived and:
-Came close to finishing its vision, goals, and objectives for all Cherrywood greenspaces - Patterson Park, the Willowbrook greenway, Reed Park (at 34th & Cherrywood), the Little Boggy creek bed, and roadside and street-side easements...
-Discussed how to best manage relations with the various City entities that have a hand in greenspace maintenance - Parks & Rec, Watershed Protection, Forestry, etc.
-Discussed the value of discovering the histories of our flagship greenspaces - hope was expressed that O.N.C.E. would continue the interesting work it has done for Reed...
-Clarified different interests people have in the Willowbrook greenway, and how best to accommodate them all - having that area be safe, walkable, and aesthetic - controlling Johnson grass and ragweed overgrowth - protecting wildflower and various wild critters' habitat - and thinking about some Parks Committee initiatives that could further improve it...
|~~~~ Girard adds ~~~~
I think that it is very, very unlikely that these are Cotton Mouths. I have handled these snakes all my life, and almost always when someone refers to "Moccasins", they are the harmless water snakes that look very much like the poisonous ones, but aren't. If, indeed they are poisonous, I personally would be for capturing them and relocating them, because cotton mouth water moccasins are really not compatible with urban areas.
Mother cottonmouths are almost always aggressive, and they are very poisonous- I have seen them swim across a creek to bite if they think their young are in danger. But I have never in my life seen a cottonmouth in an urban creek, while I have seen hundreds of the harmless look-alikes. Cotton mouth water moccasins are almost never in the water. They hang out mainly in low hanging branches and around the roots of water trees, and are often seen sunning themselves covered with mud. They are usually, but not always very thick [in the body] in comparison with the impostors, and they have more of the recognizable diamond head of the pit viper. They are also usually blacker than their copycat water snakes.; Except for the example of the mother protecting young, cotton mouths are usually not aggressive at all- unlike their copiers which are pretty aggressive, and their bites hurt even though they aren't poisonous.
~~~~ Gale adds ~~~~
A few summers ago I and an 11 year old neighborhood boy walked the creek twice a day with my dog for the whole summer. When I say walked it, I mean IN it - bare feet and all. We only rarely saw a snake, and they made themselves scarce. (Broken glass and other mad-made hazards were of more concern to us.) So whatever they are, I think they are far more scared of humans than we need to be of them.
Also, when it's really hot, you might try a creek walk yourself: it is fed not just by runoff but by wonderfully cool underground springs. There are dozens of places where you can feel the cold water coming up under your feet. (Do wash well after.)
|~~~~ Gale Greenleaf writes ~~~~ The water moccasins are attracted to the water, and probably the rocks that the city put in for them, not the grass. They have been in the creek for at least the 16 years I've lived near it. I have never heard of anyone being bitten by one. It's true the grass gives them some cover, but they can hide in six-inch-tall grass just as easily. Snakes are one of the things people always bring up when they want the city to mow. (One of the others is rats.) Yes, they are poisonous snakes, but as everybody knows, even poisonous snakes are beneficial and have a place in the ecosystem. If you had a choice between the city cutting the banks of the creek to four inches, thereby greatly increasing the rate of erosion of the banks because of lack of vegetation to hold them, and just being observant when you walk the inner path, which would you choose? If you had children, couldn't you use the snakes to explain nature to them, to tell them that they do need to be observant and careful when in wild or semi-wild places? Beyond the issue of whether the snakes are good or bad, the city has told us repeatedly - and I do mean repeatedly - that they will not mow more than four or five times a year, even if it means violationg their own ordinance or rule about grass being 18" high. (I think that rule actually may only apply to "weed lots" or vacant property.) That in turn means that in the spring the grass is going to get tall, period. The immediate issue probably is, when they are going to finish mowing the area: it'll be on or about May 11. They stopped because they were apparently unable to follow their own map of what was to be cut in mid April and what was to be left alone. The creek banks were to have been cut to 12", and the debris cleared out of the creek, but they didn't even touch the creek. But they will soon.
~~~~ Girard firstname.lastname@example.org writes ~~~~
~~~~ Jim Sander writes ~~~~ It's refreshing to hear that there exists at least some semblance of wildlife anymore. I remember seeing turtles in the creek as recent as a couple of years ago. Alas, he's gone, about the only thing that survives in the brown runoff-runthrough are mosquitoes.
~~~~ Gale writes again ~~~~ The turtle lives! S/he is huge. I most recently saw it just a week or so ago. Also, the great blue heron is around, and so are the night herons - with the klunky-looking yellow legs - and their prehistoric-sounding squawks. In the morning there are raccoon tracks in the mud. The toad tadpoles will appear soon. The mulberries are about finished. My hope is that people can use what's wild about this area to learn/teach about nature, and can use nearby Patterson Park to run, swing, play tennis, have picnics, play ball, swim, etc.
|~~~~ from Claudia Chaffin, 3808 Sycamore (memo of phone call) ~~~~>
People walking near the creek in the greenway between Sycamore and E.40th/Willowbrook need to be aware of water moccasins (our only poisonous water snake) in the vicinity of the big rocks and deep water near the swings...
The tall grass around there attracts them - it really should be mowed more often - the wildflowers are nice - but I hope the grass can be kept under control - doesn't City ordinance forbid more than 18" high?
|An excellent reference paperback is available to help sort out which plants are poison ivy and which aren't: Brother Daniel Lynch's Native and Naturalized Plants of the Austin Area . It is probably most available at the St. Edward's U. bookstore, but others in town should also have it. Inexpensive and covers a lot of our native trees, shrubs, and vines in the Austin area. Native and Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin and the Hill Country by Daniel Lynch and Deirdre Shauna Lynch (St. Edwards Univ., 1981) shows up on Amazon.com for $12. One reader comments, "This will not replace Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of the Southwest (UT Press, 1960) by Robert Vines , but is certainly easier to carry."|
|EXCESSIVE SHADE TREE TRIMMING (Summer 2003) (December 2004) (2006)||Top|
|= "If the City Wants to Trim or Remove Your Tree," Flea ( July 2003 , p. 5)
- Austin Chronicle, " Surgery or Slaughter "
- YOU HAVE A SAY
- CNA LETTER (to be drafted by E.T.)
- CITY CODE §25-8-602
- CITY "Green Building" TREES PAGE
|- EXCERPTS FROM NeighborNet|
|1. You Have a Say
One neighbor who lost a tree to this process writes, "If you get a notice that the City is coming to 'trim' one of your trees, I recommend that you ask for a consultation first with the City Arborist. You should be able to request that only branches directly around the lines be trimmed."
Another with experience agrees, "The City has repeatedly wanted to cut down a pecan tree in my yard next to the power pole. However, I always refuse. I think you have to sign off on the Arborist plan before they can make any cuts. The key is to be persistent, and to make sure that you have made your request in writing."
Contact : City Arborist, 974-1876, < jim. rhoades@ ci. austin. tx. us >
|(03May6, referring to 3319 Cherrywood, 78722)
"Our neighbor at 3319 Cherrywood is being brow beaten (literally) into letting those tree butchers the city hires to trim trees cut down her magnificent, mature, beautiful pecan tree. She is very upset and needs help with this.... "They will be here tomorrow to cut it down if we cant get some help with this. The tree is over 77 inches around. Isn't there an ordinance against this? The tree is set way back in her front yard and is not even near the wires.
"This would be a very sad thing, take away a beautiful, mature tree, and goes against the city's own "shade tree" program." // Iumi-1
|03May6, also referring to 3319 Cherrywood, 78722
"... a trimming of the upper branches would suffice if Austin Energy thinks there is any danger to the wires. It would directly contradict the Neighborwoods Program and the Heat Island
Program to cut it down and makes absolutely no sense. It is a beautiful, mature, well adapted pecan tree which shades a vast area from noon to sundown.
"I quote the Austin Energy 'Take the Heat Off' Web page: '... shade trees can reduce indoor home temperatures by up to 20 degrees and summer cooling costs by up to 40%. Also tree-shaded neighborhoods stay up to 3 to 6 degrees cooler than tree-less neighborhoods. ' "The City-contracted Asplundh people who want to cut this tree down are in direct opposition to the City's own energy policies. The owners do not want the tree cut down....
"The owner is M. Stark, 477-3955. I can be reached at 482-0374". // Iumi-2
|03May7, referring to the 3300 block of Cherrywood, 78722
"The City came and did a hack job on the beautiful pecan tree in my front yard. I wish I had known I had an option to get a consultation with a city arborist. I had called the number provided when they left notification that this tree would be cut, and the woman who answered the phone said that only the limbs near the highest power lines would be cut. She said the trimming would be minimal. So I regrettably gave them permission. I was home when they came to trim the tree yesterday. The first branch they cut is one that provided us with a lot of late afternoon shade. I pleaded with the workers and told them that this branch was no where near the electrical lines and to please minimize the amount of cutting the did as we depend on this tree for shade. They continued cutting and I am very upset with the result...". // Kathy Jones
|03May7, referring to the 3500 block of Werner
"About the city-contracted tree people: they are terrible and really don't make an effort to save trees at all. I have had to deal with them several times before, and in order to not have your tree
cut down AND receive compensation for any major work they do, you should absolutely:
"1. Have the city arborist come out and negotiate every cut. Ask about clearance distances. They vary by the voltage being transmitted; if you are next to a regular distribution line, the optimal clearance is minimal. You can also bring out your own arborist to meet with the city arborist. I recommend Guy Leblanc of Arbor Vitae; he has negotiated on behalf of my mother several times, and has done excellent work for her and at my house for the past 10 years.
"2. Get everything in writing--every single cut--so no extra work is performed. You can also demand that you be present at the time of the work.
"3. Get compensation if any major work is done. The city doesn't advertise this, but they can give (at least) 10 gallon trees (and shrubs) of your choosing as compensation for work they do. Even if the tree is not removed, pruning away from power lines can detract from the natural appearance, decrease shade protection, and decrease the value added to property by a full-grown tree."
"Definitely call the city. I've got them to put things in writing, give me a number of trees, and even guarantee in writing that if the work done affects the health of the tree in the future, that they will pay for restoration, additional pruning, removal, replacement, etc. The people that I have spoken to at the city have been much more willing to work with me that the contractors,
too, who are paid to get a certain amount of work done in a certain amount of time."
"Also, since the contractors are butchering neighborhood trees everywhere, maybe we as a neighborhood could push for alternatives to pruning. After all, they prune on cycles of 3-5 years. Even if you end up thinking you've won this battle, you'll just have to go through it again in the future. I think there was talk of burying certain transmission lines at some point in the city council? Furthermore, when the city council approved the renewal contract with Asplundh last time around, much mention was made of the butchering they did in the past, so council members emphasized that attention be given to maintaining trees in terms of appearance and added value, and not just hacking them away from the power lines. If Asplundh is pressuring people to let them do crappy work, it could help to raise the concern with the council.
"I am sorry I can't think of the name of the person I spoke with last time that was so helpful. I might be able to look it up. // Emily Teykl
|From: < email@example.com >
A little more advice if you know Asplundh is working on your street...
They carry forms with them that they are supposed to get the homeowner to
sign. If they make a "reasonable" attempt to get in touch with the homeowner and can't, then they can proceed with the work without a signature.
Of course, Asplundh does not go out of their way to get in touch with homeowners.
If I see them on my street, I'll be leaving a note on my door or in the window to the effect of, "Tree work NOT AUTHORIZED without signed consent form" along with contact info. I might even call the city and leave that message with the right person. They are really supposed to get a signature, and that is the least I will demand.
The only reason they are in a hurry is that it costs them extra to come back when a house is off their working route. Asplundh is truly shameless about their questionable practices, and I wish the city had the cojones and resources to deal more stearnly with them. (Pardon my Spanish.)
I absolutely volunteer to write the letters to Asplundh, the City Council and Austin Energy on behalf of CNA. I also volunteer to write a column for the next newsletter so all homeowners have info and resources about tree trimming. If anyone on the list is the appropriate CNA contact person for submitting the letter for review/input, could you please contact me? //Emily
|(03May17, from firstname.lastname@example.org )
"One of the problems I had with the tree trimmers last go around is that I was unable to talk to the cutters. Previously I had told the surveyor (arborist??) that I wanted to be around when the cutters came to my property. But that served little purpose because of language. Fortunately there were no major cuts to my trees. I remember the "trimming" done along the railroad and road right of way. It look as if the trees had been hit by a tornado the cuts were so messy dorothy." //Iumi-3
|(03May17, from email@example.com )
"In addition to the list of demands below, could we add that we will pursue legal action if they are not met? I would guess there are enough people in Austin upset about this that we could be a significant voice. It seems so ridiculous that one arm of the city is trying to plant trees for shade and another one is cutting down big shade trees." //Pam
|(03May17, from firstname.lastname@example.org )
"I noticed three large trees red taped on Cherrywood, so went down to see if the owners were aware of possible options other than removal.
"I found only one of them home, an elderly woman who said she didn't want her tree cut down if it was possible to trim it. She had told the City workers that, but went ahead and signed the release when she thought she had no choice.
"She did not know she could request an arborist to be there at the time of trimming. She did not know that the City would replace a tree that has been removed.
"I gave her the number of the City tree arborist that Girard sent out and she was going to call him ASAP. She was very excited that she might be able to save her tree.
"She also knew one of the other owners and said she would tell them they have options, since they were also concerned about their tree.
"I was not able to find the third owner at home.
"The woman I spoke to said that a large tree a few doors up had already been removed.
"There is also a beautiful mesquite tree which is green tagged for 'rimming.' It would be a shame if the Asplundh butchers get at it the way they did Kathy and Bill Jones' tree, but I could not find anyone home there to talk with.
"Another great tree on Cherrywood, an oak, has been similarly deformed.
"It seems that our letter to the City might include the following:
"That any communication from the City to owners concerning trees and power lines include:
1) a clear message that the owner has the right to request an arborist be on hand for the cutting 2) a clear message that the owner had the right to strongly resist the removal of a mature tree and request other options 3) A clear message that the owner has veto power on cuts 4) A clear message that replacement trees are available if the tree absolutely cannot be saved (last resort). The City should also have the biggest potted trees available if the removed tree is a large, mature tree. The tree that the City left for the owner of the original pecan tree which we have saved was a puny, half-dead nothing, which is why we want to include this item.
"In addition, in the case of the elderly, we should request that if the tree cannot be saved, the City should provide a crew to plant the replacement tree. This woman absolutely could not plant a tree at her age." //Iumi-4
|(03May17, from WadeDeeJ@aol.com )
"One of the problems I had with the tree trimmers last go around is that I was unable to talk to the cutters. Previously I had told the surveyor (arborist??) that I wanted to be around when the cutters came to my property. But that served little purpose because of language. Fortunately there were no major cuts to my trees.
I remember the "trimming" done along the railroad and road right of way. It look as if the trees had been hit by a tornado the cuts were so messy." //Dorothy
- Asplundh Tree Expert Co. (401-9116)
- Austin Energy , Tree branches on electric lines (494-9400, email@example.com )
Web page < http://www.austinenergy.com/trees/index.html >
Tree planting efforts
- City Arborist (974-1876, firstname.lastname@example.org
- City Switchboard (974-2000) to reach any City employee
- Tree Folks (443-5323, email@example.com )
Home page < http://www.treefolks.org/ >
|DECEMBER 2004 (10 messages) Top|
|o - - - - - o
GB NOTE: This issue first arose in Summer 2003. Here we are again December 2004.
Asplundh (national) site: < http://www.asplundh.com/ >
Friday I came home to find a yellow plastic tag on a tree in my backyard. What does this mean? Is Asplundi doing tree trimming in the neighborhood for the city right now? There are power lines near the tree. Is there some way to find out if the city is doing this?
Thank you -
Your nervous neighbor
I have a draft of a letter and am wondering who in the neighborhood association might be the appropriate person to review it. Just email me and I'll send you the draft to look over. I volunteered to write this letter a while back and then had a personal situation come up that didn't leave me any time to deal with anything else for a while...is the neighborhood association still interested in pursuing this? If so, what is our position? What is important to include in the letter?
Maybe it's something that can be dealt with in the monthly meeting.
Let me know what you think.
I'd go ahead and start making calls, if I were you. The first person to try is Jim Rhoades, the city arborist, at 974-1876. There is also an answering machine for the Utility Forest Division at 322-6771. They say calls will be returned in the order received. I just left a message to find out if Asplundh is working in our neighborhood.
Did you find any sort of notice explaining the tags? Asplundh is supposed to draw up a vegetation work plan and have it signed by the homeowner. But, of course, Asplundh isn't known for doing the right thing all the time.
In the meantime you might consider leaving a notice on your tree or gate or wherever to the effect that you want to be contacted before anything is done.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
I just had a meeting with Jarrid from Asplundh regarding the trimming they WILL do in about "5 or 6 weeks". Every few years, the city contracts Asplundh to trim the trees away from the power lines. The first time it happened on my property, I received no notice and came home to see the hack job Asplundh carried out on my post oaks. I was mortified with the result.
This time, I did receive a notice and I wanted to know exactly what was going on so I called Jarrid Hohensee (401-9116) and set up a meeting for today. If you have any questions, I recommend you do the same.
You can even tell them that you have to be present when they do the work. A supervisor will come out and go over what they propose to do and mark the trees and then he will set an appointment for the work crew to come out and he leave his cell # so that you can call him when the crew is there is case things get wacky with the tree trimming.
I saved several of my trees by insisting on this. They were even going to completely cut down a big sycamore and instead they just butchered it, but it is still there.
All; a few years ago after some big storms there was a major tree trimming in our neighborhood and lots of trees got overtrimmed and removed because we didn't do what Ms Walker has suggested.
There are also some other steps I recommend. First, request that you be present IN WRITING and CC the City Manager (that way they know the request is residing in a file at the City and can't be conveniently lost or forgotten. Then, when they arrive, have a camera and let them see you photograph the tree as it is prior to the trimming. Have some landscapers spray paint or some surveyor's tape handy and mark (or have them mark) all the branches that are to be cut before cutting them. Photograph them doing this, and to document what is to be cut.
Also, Jim Rhoades, the former City Arborist now semi-retired, has often been available to come out an render an opinion about what should and should not be trimmed or removed. Sometimes he has even been able to be there when they do the cutting. All of these steps can help.
I just spoke with Michelle McAfee at the Austin Energy Urban Forestry Department. If you have any questions, you can call her at 322-6932.
Right now Austin Energy is getting ready to perform circuit maintenance on our neighborhood, aka the Fiesta Circuit. They will be surveying the entire area and targeting trees for trimming and
-Trees identified for removal will be tagged with a pink marker.
Trimming standards somewhat depend on the type of tree, but in general: -Primary lines (higher up, higher voltage, uninsulated wires) will be cleared by 7-9 feet for slower growing trees, and by 11 feet for faster growing trees. If a main tree trunk falls within this clearance requirement or is growing towards the line, it may be removed. -Secondary lines (lower on the pole, lower voltage) have clearances that are usually met when trimming for the primary lines occur.
-Trees under utility lines are targeted for removal
I suggest we have a representative come out and speak at an upcoming neighborhood association meeting. Who do I contact to add this to the agenda?
Also, on the letter, I just sent a personal letter to the City Council. You can email all the city council members at this link:
For a neighborhood letter, which I would still like to do, maybe we can compile anecdotes from neighborhood residents who have worked with Asplundh as a part of our correspondence. Does anyone have any other ideas? Is anyone interested in a neighborhood letter?
Gordon gave a link for some past action on this issue. It is important for people to know that they can usually save their trees. Case in point, 2 very large old pecan trees that were targeted to be removed at 3319 Cherrywood. After numerous calls and emails from the 'hood, the trees were not removed. This happened at least twice more on Cherrywood. We went to anyone's home that we saw a red tape on their trees and let them know that they had recourse and support. Several more trees on Cherrywood were saved due to this.
Not everyone is on this list, so if you see a neighbor's tree with a red death ribbon, it might be nice to at least see if they want to save the tree.
Unfortunately, the pecan trees on 3319 Cherrywood were butchered, but they are still standing, and the owners are thankful for that.
Gentle neighbors - We were reminded companies other than Asplundh contracted by Austin Energy handle non holiday tree trimming.
Passing by Asbury Methodist 8 am today, we observed a man looking at the oak trees (with yellow ribbons) anchoring the sw corner of 38.5 St & Cherrywood.
We stopped to speak with him, remembering ours & others gasp producing reactions in response to resulting "dinosaur munch-sized" bites left atop the crown of these longstanding Cherrywood pillars by the last trimmers.
Alex Redmond, of the Davey company, said he was reviewing trees , so he could file recs for future action. He said a letter would be left for Asbury & that he would work with the minister,
So when writing missives about tree trimmers, perhaps these companies should be identified as "those businesses hired by Austin Energy, including, but not limited to Asplundh, Davey" Of course, specific language would be better handled by one of our hood's illustrious lawyers.
My earlier notes show Ray Henning (no relation to Ray Hennig of South Lamar's music equipment store),was serving as City of Austin/Austin Energy's Line Clearance Superintendent (301 West Avenue, Austin ~ 322.6930) He was employing 6 different cos & was known for his aggressive trimming philosophy. He originally worked in Ohio utilities for 25 years.
Anyone wishing to help protect our "Elmer" (50+ yr old elm tree planted by original house owners) who gracefully monitors speeding traffic on 38.5 St., can sign up for good ol' fashioned
Many thanks to all working to keep Cherrywood beautiful.
I have had pretty good succeoss in saving our Pecan tree that someone long ago let grow right next to the utility pole on the corner of our yard. This tree is tagged for removal almost every time they come through to do tree trimming. It was also tagged for removal when they were replacing the utility pole last year.
I always request to meet with the arborist and/or supervisor in order to document the cuts that will be made by the crew. I get those in writing on a diagram signed by the City. The Pecan tree has been trimmed at least three three or four times in the 8 years I have lived in the house. I understand the need for trimming around the lines and try to accommodate the need for the trimming while also trying to maintain the integrity of thetree itself. I would rather they come trim a little every year or two as necessary than a whole lot every three to five years.
I always make sure that I am notified when they are going to trim and make sure that I am present when the work is being done. I like to go over the cuts with the crew that is on site prior to their work. I also leave a diagram of the cuts attached to the tree in very visible site with a notefor the crew in case I am not available and also in case the instructions were not relayed to the crew.
Saving this tree when the pole was being replace took quite a bit of effort. The city was insistent that the tree be removed. I eventually convinced them to move the utility pole back a foot or two and over a couple of feet so that it was not right against the tree. I took a lot of pictures before, during, and after the work. I also make sure that the crews see me taking pictures while the work is being done.
*11.* (March 2005)
Just got off the phone with Ray King, the sender of the city letter that came yesterday (registered, no less) about trimming trees for truck clearance. Here are the salient points of our conversation:
1. The 10 day deadline for getting trees trimmed was thought up by the city's lawyers, not him. He is not going to enforce any sort of deadline, but he does suggest if you intend to do any trimming, there is a brush trash day coming up that would be convenient.
2. The 14 foot height is suggested by the legal truck height limit, which is 13 feet 6 inches. When I pointed out that 13'6" is pretty darn high, he agreed.
3. He gets his complaints not just from the garbage trucks, that have to have clearance to raise that mechanical arm with a trash can in it, but commercial trucks as well. When he gets a complaint on one house, he generally works the entire neighborhood at once. That is what has happened to us.
4. He, in fact, has no enforcement capabilities. He is not going to send anyone to trim the trees, or insist that we trim the trees. So doing nothing is a possible response.
5. He does point out, however, that two bad things can happen from doing nothing. First, if a truck is damaged by your trees, the truck owner can insist you pay for the damages. Second, if a truck damages your trees (the more likely outcome), you don't have any recourse against the truck owner, and it might lead to disease, etc.
You can feel free to call him yourself. I told him he might get 300 phone calls from this neighborhood, and explained to him that he was coming on the heels of the "Asplundh wars." He is a very nice fellow, and will probably listen to us rant all day!
|January 2006 (8 messages) Top|
|<Cara Choate <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some friends recently had their trees clear cut by Asplundh for right-of-way power-line clearance. I did warn them it could get nasty and not sign off on anything without an arborist present, but ... she said they walked through and told her what they were going to trim and not to worry -- it would look fine when they were done. They came. They didn't trim anything. They removed. Everything. The urban forest feel of their house is gone and it's no longer a good place for them to have their shade-trees-needed wedding (unless they're beavers. But even beavers would have left some trees).
I flipped through the archives, but couldn't find the Austin Energy grievance contact to file a complain regarding what the crew said would be "pruned" as opposed to what actually did happen to their trees. If anyone filed a grievance when Asplundh was in Cherrywood, contact information and suggestions as to how best to approach this would be greatly appreciated.
I did find the Tree Trimming page fo Austin Energy, and I could have told her what to do before they cut (thanks to the experience of others). Too late for that. I did tell her that since the contract crew obviously lied to her, she should register a complaint to "hopefully" keep this from happening to others -- honorary Lorax status.
Cara on Grayson
| Isaiah Tibbs <email@example.com>
I just had a friend over in Delwood 2 have the same thing happen. Yesterday Asplundh leveled her landscaping bamboo and small shrubs after getting a verbal authorization from her on the phone to trim TREE LIMBS only. It was horrible and now she has 1/4 the vegetation she once had. I will call her tonight and get the contact information for you. They also damaged her fence and are having to replace it. We kicked and screamed and had a supervisor out immediately and also called the city of Austin. We were just discussing this yesterday on the WWD1 yahoo group.
|Emily Tekyl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have had to deal with Asplundh and Austin Energy several times now, and although I don't have the contact info that was mentioned previously on this board, I can recommend another person. Tinker Cotton of Austin Energy's urban forestry division was very helpful and courteous after one particular incident of unapproved tree trimming and removal. She explained to me the clearance requirements and approval process, and she also helped me get free replacement trees from the city.
Tinker Cotton's direct number at Austin Energy is 512-322-6936. The last time I dealt with Asplundh was in our neighborhood, and the most important thing I learned and would recommend to neighbors who wish to minimize unnecessary trimming is to always ask for a meeting with the Austin Energy supervisor after contact is made by Asplundh or another subcontractor. The subcontractors are only allowed to negotiate for a maximum clearance amount, but the AE supervisor can approve a minimum clearance. Even after talking to the AE supervisor, I recommend getting every detail spelled out in the work vegetation plan before agreeing to allow the trimming to be done. And, if you want to take it a step further, you can stipulate that the work crew comes at a specific time so that you, the AE supervisor, and perhaps your arborist, can be present to supervise. My arborist negoatiated every cut, and I believe it made a big difference to have him present.
Overall, I think the tree trimming process AE uses has improved a lot over the years, but the trick is to work with AE directly and not Asplundh. Hope that helps!
|Kathleen McTee <email@example.com>
This may be a naive question, but have Asplundh's tree-wrecking tendencies been discussed before the city council or any city boards or committees? I assume that there are other older Austin neighborhoods with old trees and residents who would like to protect them, and that they've done battle with Asplundh, too. I know there's a balance to be struck between safety for line clearances and aesthetics -- but you'd think a city that prides itself on greenspace would prioritize saving the landscape.QQQ Then again, I guess I'm just naive! Apologies in advance if these are stupid questions: I know nothing about city policies or the lack thereof.
|<Cara Choate <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hyde Park is going through what we went through last spring. A tree task force has been initiated and and they had a meeting last night with Austin Energy and other interested parties. This (appropriate snippet) forwarded from the Hyde Park mailing list.
Notice our neighbor from Wilshire Woods, Councilman Leffingwell, was in attendance (yay!). The full email is available through the Hyde Park mailing list or I can forward you the message individually, although with the caveat that I'd rather not as I was not the original poster, and I feel iffy about it without the original poster's permission.
|Emily Tekyl <email@example.com>
Kathleen, I wondered about this, too, and looked it up last time I had to deal with Asplundh in the city council meeting minutes. The last entry I could find discussing this problem specifically was April 19, 2001, when former council member Beverly Griffith asked about it when the funding for subcontractors was up for renewal. I've pasted a bit of the transcript below. I have also written to City Council members on numerous occasions, though I'm not sure what difference it might have made. I will say in dealing with the issue over the past 8 years or so, the process has gotten a lot better. I guess we just need to keep complaining/commending.
|Emily Tekyl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I haven't worked with They Might be Monkeys, bit I can recommend Guy LeBlanc of Arbor Vitae. His contact info follows: < http://www.TreeCareByGuy.com > 301-8700
I agree. As previously stated on the neighbornet, I have successfully saved a large pecan tree several times. Always request to have the Austin Energy
rep meet you and the sub at the sight when the work is being done. Make sure that they notify you prior to doing any work and that you want to be present when the work is being done. I have to work directly with Austin Energy every time they come through to do tree trimming. I also worked directly with them to get AE to slightly move a power pole when it was being replaced to save the tree.
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