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Letters: Nov. 5, 2009

Our Street Trees
One of Berthoud’s greatest assets is its trees; something you probably don’t think about that often, but our public trees are worth over five million dollars. These are just the trees in our parks, cemetery and the public right of way. The care of these trees has always been a partnership; the town takes care of the park and cemetery trees and homeowners take care of the street trees in front of their homes and in alley ways. Most cities and towns do it this way, so Berthoud is not unique. One thing the town has been able to do is prune the street trees in new areas until they reach six inches in diameter, which we are about to do in Fickel Farm. The town also has been replacing young trees that have died in these areas. When funds/grants are available we provide new trees to homeowners in Old Town that have had to remove a tree or have an open planting space. One of the biggest problems Berthoud has right now is keeping our street trees pruned to a minimum of 14’ over the inside edge of all alleys and roadways to ensure safe travel from vehicles, street sweepers, snow plows and waste pick-up. These trees and shrubs also must be pruned to a minimum of 8’ over all sidewalks for safe passage.  Shrubs and hedges planted on street corners must be maintained less than 30” in height and no tree, shrub or hedge may obstruct any traffic controls or street signs.

Please take some time to see that your trees and shrubs meet ordinance #396; in some cases you may receive a notice to have this work done. Keep in mind if you are able to do this work yourself; trimming trees in traffic ways can be dangerous. Using tools such as ladders, pole saws and chain saws with heavy branches increases the chances for accidents. Please call the Town Arborist, Roy McBride, at 532-1600 with any questions or concerns. He can provide a list of licensed tree care professionals in the town of Berthoud, give advice and provide written information on proper pruning techniques. Roy is only available one day per week, so give him a chance to answer your calls. Let’s work together to have healthy and safe trees.

— John Goreski and Roy McBride, Town of Berthoud

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