The problem with "tree professionals"

This article about legal consequences for topping tress in San Francisco contains a gem. Apparently some people see it as a problem that property owners face liability for bad pruning, and not the pruners.
Mike Sullivan, Friends of the Urban Forest adviser and author of "Trees of San Francisco" (Pomegranate Communications), has another idea. "It's not really effective to punish the homeowners for topping trees. ... The people who should be subject to the ordinance are the tree professionals. They absolutely know the city's laws. If you fined them a couple hundred (dollars) it would ensure it wouldn't happen again."

Who do you suppose are the tree professionals Mr. Sullivan is talking about? I have some ideas!

If the property owner cheaps out and hires, um, tree professionals instead of a licensed or certified or certificated arborist (I'm not sure if arborists are licensed or certified or certificated--and I'm too lazy to look it up), then that wasn't that the property owner's decision?

And if you hire an arborist, and the arborist fucks up, it's not going to be hard to bring the arborist to court. Which might not be the case with tree professionals.

1 comment:

Christopher C. NC said...

I can see both sides of this. A licensed Arborist will behead a tree if that is what the owner wants and is paying for. If they know they can be fined and a professional will, they should refuse the job. Once word gets out to the "Tree Professionals" hired by cheap home owners fewer (maybe)of them will be likely to butcher trees.

A lot of home owners are dumb and beheading trees is a common practice in a lot of places. To a lot of people that is how they think it is supposed to be done.

On a city owned street tree however I think the solicitor of butchery should be as culpable as the "Tree Professional" who did the actual deed.

Perhaps there needs to be a shared fine to spread the message to all involved.