TREE “WHACKERS” ON OUR ROAD

City crew has started an ill fated attempt to cut trees and brush along the our road, clearing the right-off-way below the power lines. Instead of a small crew with chainsaws they use a large hydraulic machine with a heavy cutter head on a long boom.

It looks like swatting flies with a bulldozer, crushing all and everything in its path.

The machine is a slow moving leviathan on tracks; for each small tree it must position itself, lower four supporting outriggers and then tackle the tree. The whacker is positioned over the tree and the operator slowly lowers the head, pulverizing anything in its path. Chips, ripped-off branches and split trunks are left. After the snow melts there will be 5-6 feet of splintered brush and trees along the side of the road.

I talked to the crew, but of course they just follow orders, so our Councillor has been made aware of what goes on and he is on the case with city officials. We should hope that next time any clearing of vegetation will be done more sensitively. Afterall, the City of Kingston aims to be the most sustainable and green city in Ontario, Canada, or the world?

Instead of a very expensive Volvo hydraulic “whacker-crusher”  machine, a small crew with chainsaws and a chipper would do it twice as fast and would be able to use some discretion. They would also not leave a mess behind like this monster does.

Just east of the boat ramp the shore between the lake and the road is very narrow, cutting any of those 30-40 year old maples would damage the integrity of the shore AND any erosion might expose the pipeline that runs along the Colonel By Lake and the south side of the Aragon Road. Trans-Northern the owner of the pipeline would not be pleased as this would compromise pipeline safety.

Apparently the  wild “wacker” has also done a job on the vegetation along Maple Lawn Drive, damaging the fence of the Graham farm, along that road.

Here are some photos.

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spring tree chipping 2015 e

The Volvo whacker can only reach a small area  before it has to retract its stabilizers and move on its tracks a few trees further along the road. The large machine appears very inefficient and overly expensive; not a good example of Kingston trying to be the most sustainable city…

spring tree chipping 2015 d

And this is the result at the top of the snow bank, what is left below the snow is a 5-6 feet high splintered tree trunk.

spring tree chipping 2015 h

Some trees are left with branches torn off and mutilated trunks.

spring tree chipping 2015

In some places the tops of our cedar rail fence have been hopped off . Should we claim damages? Worse for all of us is the inefficient use of taxpayer’s money. We agree with good road maintenance, but this is wanton destruction.

We have passed the information on to members of the Rural Committee in the hope that future road side clearing is done with more care to the natural environment and recognizing the efficient use of our taxes.

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