If you’re in the city of Pittsfield and you see a big orange “X” on a tree, it means a couple of things. First, the tree has been deemed “dead” or at least deemed as a danger because of its condition. Every time there is a stiff wind, large branches, or mini-logs, come flying from the sky. That’s a problem. While large falling objects are a safety risk to your own life and limbs, there is the additional danger that the entire tree will come down – putting more significant personal property (like your house) at risk. Second, when you see the orange “X” the tree is on city property, and therefore, is the responsibility of the city to remove. In some cases, you may be surprised what is city property – particularly when the tree in question seems to be well away from the road and into a constituent’s front yard. But, the reality is that on some of our major roads, the city owns a significant amount of real estate on either side of the street. This is the case on West Street, for instance. As those with greater historical knowledge will tell you, that extra city-owned property was maintained on either side of the street at a time when West Street was being considered as a possible choice for a major thoroughfare west into New York State. Luckily that never happened. Instead, West Street is one entryway to West Mountain Trail, the CCC Trail and Doll Mountain Trail in the Pittsfield State Forest. Far more appealing.
But, I digress.
When “X” marks the spot, the tree should go down. Unfortunately, I came upon one constituent recently whose “X” has been on a tree in front of his home for two years. In fact, the “X” was so faded at this point, you could barely see it. That’s fine, it’s another added benefit to the door-to-door concept – a constituent will remember the lingering, unresolved issue when asked “how can I help you?” Time to take the tree down.