Don't delay on problem trees

July 05, 2005 11:00 pm

The Baker City Council can review the Tree Board's position on removing nine ailing trees from Geiser Pollman's groves of 110 trees.

They don't have to.

We'd urge Mayor Charles Hofmann to review the report from a La Grande arborist on the condition of these silver maples and either give the Tree Board the green light or call a special meeting of the Baker City Council.

Why the urgency? The council doesn't meet again until July 12.

Geiser Pollman Park will be packed with people less than 72 hours later as Miners Jubilee gets into full swing.

Even if the council discusses the trees July 12 and consents to have them removed, it will probably be too late to remedy the problem before Jubilee.

That seems urgent to us now that the city has the arborist's recommendation.

There is a recent precedent, in the very same park.

The council moved swiftly when it heard from its building inspector that a picnic structure at the park was in danger of collapsing. Citing concern about liability, the city spared no time removing the structure.

Now that arborist Brian Kelly has confirmed the ill health first identified by Katie Kause of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the city must act — or face potential liability if a tree collapses and damages property or injures people during Jubilee or another event.