I’ve lived in Point Pleasant for three years. It’s a lovely place to live. I’ve met many lovely people here, the kind, gentle, courteous, friendly southern folks who live here. It’s also a pretty place to live, especially in spring with all of the beautiful flowers and flowering bushes and tress — with one startling exception!
Like many of you, I’ve traveled everywhere in the country, but Point Pleasant is the only place that I know of where its people regularly, habitually and obsessively amputate all of the branches of beautiful, healthy, living trees, leaving stark, naked, awkward, ugly stumpy things in their place. It’s especially obvious in winter. It’s as if everybody got terribly angry and took it out on the poor trees, making the whole city look angry, ugly and mean.
The tree trimmers just went through Gunn Park, Main Street and other places in the city just as they have in past years. Gunn Park looks stripped naked. The pear blossoms are gone, and the trees are stripped, leaving just fat trunks topped by a ball of ugly bare sticks.
I asked a tree trimmer the purpose of trimming beautiful living trees back to sometimes bare, naked trunks and branches. He replied, “Well, we’ve always done it that way.” The tree trimmers themselves may be the driving force behind these customs.
The forest service says that massive trimming shortens the life of a tree and eventually might kill it by allowing diseases to enter the tree. It may be time now to think of a better way.
Point Pleasant still has many beautiful trees that are a wonderful, natural treasure lending grace to the southern charm of our community. To preserve that charm, may I respectfully request of anyone who is thinking of stripping or topping a whole tree to please consider calling the forestry department for their advice and perhaps even consent before the tree trimmers arrive.
The city council could also do a wonderful service to the community quickly and easily by requiring that all tree trimmers secure a permit approved by the forest service before stripping or topping healthy living trees. We should ask them to consider doing this.