Albany resident and UC employee Brian Parsley wrote a commentary on the university’s tree-cutting plan on the Gill Tract:
I am an Albany resident who is also a UC employee. I am responding as a resident and not a spokesperson for the University. I find it interesting that mayor Lieber believes that not all the trees on UC Property need to come down. He has previously stated that he intends to “slow down” the process of the infected trees removal even though they may pose a hazard to people and property on nearby sidewalks and streets. It might serve the mayor to defer these matters to city staff before making comments to the press.
Tony Wolcott, Albany’s Master arborist, said he has seen the trees, and agreed with university that they were diseased and needed to be removed. He states “There isn’t any sense in trying to save any of them. They’re going to die. The pine pitch canker is pretty devastating. There’s not anything that we can do as far as curing the problem. From a public safety point of view, they should come out.” He also stated that the trees that weren’t infected should be removed as they might not be accustomed to the wind with the other trees gone and that might lead to failure of those trees.
While the loss of 300 trees is saddening I think I might defer to the experts on this matter and I believe any intentional ‘slowing down’ of the process could be putting the public in danger.