Town cuts trees ‘for public safety’

Several at-risk trees near downtown Stettler are being levelled these days as crews change the landscape on multiple streets.

Several at-risk trees near downtown Stettler are being levelled these days as crews change the landscape on multiple streets.

The Town of Stettler contends the changes are needed to proactively protect property and people.

Six poplar trees were cut down by town staff on 51 Street south of 49 Avenue on the east side in front of St. George’s Anglican Church.

“As these poplars get older and larger, they start to rot on the inside and become a hazard,” said Rob Stoutenberg, the town’s chief administrative officer.

“I think people understand the risk that large, aging trees have on our infrastructure and public safety.”

No local residents have expressed any complaints to town officials, though two residents asked what kind of trees would be planted to replace those trees, Stoutenberg said.

Next spring, the town plans to plant trees with a shallow root system, such as elm or green ash, said Lee Penner, the town’s director of parks and leisure services.

“Normally, we don’t cut down six trees in a row, but we had to cut down a couple more so we could take out a tree for the Christmas tree on Main Street.”

Annually during the winter months, public works staff prunes branches and cuts down trees that pose a risk to property or people, Stoutenberg said.

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