A dangerous beauty?

Today I had to go and look at one of the most attractive trees in the borough, a very impressive Paulownia. It has dropped two branches in recent weeks and a local resident has got very nervous about it. It’s understandable in a way, but the truth is no one has been hurt, and it’s unlikely to drop further branches right now. But I will order a reduction of the crown, and I’ll do it soon. It makes me rather sad to prune this tree, for it will never look the same again. I know that trees barely ever hurt people, but it’s hard to convince the public of that.

I’m often unsure however whether I’m managing the real risk or responding to the expectations of the public. I suppose it’s my job to do both, but sometimes I feel on the side of the trees against the public. Which doesn’t really make sense, because I manage the trees for the public. Such are the contradictions of being a tree officer…

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