BGE's unwise attitude about trees

Two points about The Sun's coverage of tree cutting by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. ("A bid to trim power outages," Dec. 23). First, I told the management of BGE at a meeting held with them by the Baltimore City Forestry Board in 1987 that their aggressive tree pruning was not working and to return to the old method. I also suggested that they contribute to city street tree planting instead of planting under power lines, as was their practice at the time. They refused on both counts. By 2012, I have surely been proven right decade after decade about their tree cutting method, yet still they want to step it up rather than return to rationality — and with the support of the Maryland Public Service Commission.

When there are problem spots causing continual outages, such as Rexmere Road, then BGE needs to prudently address these specific areas — not pursue general cutbacks everywhere while ignoring the problem areas. The fact that Sandy took fewer trees than the derecho cannot be credited to any tree removal program but rather to the fact that Sandy came second. The derecho was more severe and took the weakest trees out first.

This brings me to my second point. Trees need food to develop strong roots and branches. They are not getting it. Homeowners should be fertilizing their trees at least once every two years with green friendly liquid ground injected fertilizer from a licensed arborist. I know for a fact that only a minuscule number of people are doing this. And so my message to homeowners is "feed 'em or lose 'em."

Joseph Clisham, Baltimore

The writer is a former chairman of the Baltimore City Forestry Board.

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