THE PROBLEM : A tree marked last spring for removal still towered over Christmas shoppers.
THE BACKSTORY: This is the time of year when many people are putting up trees, but Elizabeth Conkling wanted one to come down.
In April, her sister had called 311 to request that the tree in front of Conkling's home in Ridgley's Delight be trimmed. Someone came out to inspect it and posted a sign on the trunk. It stated that the tree was both dead and diseased and would be cut down Oct. 2 or 3 - Conkling wasn't sure which because the sign had disappeared.
"The sign is gone. It blew off," she said a few days ago. "But the tree is still standing."
Like other trees on the block, the tree in question lost its leaves in the autumn chill; it also was losing some of its bark.
"The bark is falling off - chunks falling onto the sidewalk," Conkling reported. "At first I thought it was squirrels."
The city's Department of Recreation and Parks oversees the street trees program. Department spokeswoman Kia McLeod consulted city arborist Rebecca Feldberg and learned that the tree had not missed its execution date.
"The date on the sign just indicates how long citizens have to protest the removal," McLeod wrote in an e-mail. "It is not a removal date."
The tree was scheduled to be removed by Dec. 12, McLeod wrote.
Conkling didn't have to wait long. She called Friday to alert Watchdog that the tree had been cut down.
WHO CAN FIX THIS: City arborist Rebecca Feldberg, 410-396-6109. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.
update Fresh white lines mark where pedestrians can safely cross Pratt Street at Eutaw Street near the new Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel. The crosswalk was so worn that in some places it had disappeared altogether. But, as promised by the Department of Transportation, the crosswalk was repainted within two weeks.
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