Monday, July 22, 2013

four T Street NW residents targeted by DDOT Urban Forestry for tree removal

See this 07-22-2013 message:
Four Residents Targeted by DDOT Urban Forestry for Tree Removal

Four residents on the unit block of T Street NW recently received notificationsfrom Rajit Babra of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) informing them that any tree planted by them in the tree boxes in front of their residences will be removed and replaced by Hackberry trees between October and April.  Only these four homeowners on the unit block of T Street NW received such letters hand delivered in their mailboxes; whereas, many of the other residents with tree boxes planted with their own trees are not known to have received such letters and, apparently,  are not targeted by UFA.    The law the UFA cited in their letter (DCMR Title 24 Section 109.12) specifically states that the city may only remove trees in tree boxes when it is necessary for “construction, repair, or maintenance “ activities, none of which apply to these four residents of the unit block of T Street.

One of the above four residents targeted by UFA had their 20-30 year old healthy tree-box tree surprisingly removed by the city back in 2005.  The healthy tree was growing in their tree box since they purchased their house in the 1980’s.   That same year the city planted new trees in many of the neighboring tree boxes but did not plant a new replacement tree in their tree box.   In 2011, this long-time resident, finally, after waiting six years for the city to replace the tree that had been removed in 2005, purchased and planted a cherry blossom tree in their tree box tree and had the tree box landscaped by the neighborhood landscape artist, Tom Noll.  They are very upset that the city again wants to remove their tree with only a “promise” of a replacement.  

The other trees targetedby UFA, on the Unit Block of T Street NW consisted of a weeping cherry planted in 2009 and redbud and magnolia trees planted in 2011.  These trees were also planted by Tom Noll.  

If any other residents on the unit block of T Street NW or elsewhere in Bloomingdale who have planted and nurtured their own trees, which they have purchased at considerable expense in the last five years, received such notifications allegedly from UFA, they should protest these letters to DDOT.   This action by UFA is not environmentally sound and is not a wise use of our taxpayer’s money.  UFA's limited budget should be used for planting trees, not removing trees.

Concerned residents of the Unit Block of T Street NW. 


IMGoph said...

Ranjit is a fantastic public servant and I have only known him to act in the best interest of the city with the best use of taxpayer dollars in mind. I understand the concern from the people on T Street, but the "targeted" language makes it sound like there's some kind of witch hunt against them. There certainly is not, and I'm sure if they gave him a chance to explain things further, their concerns would likely be addressed.

Peter said...

If the letter was placed in a mail box it is a violation of federal law and he should be reported so the correct actions can be taken against this individual.

Paul Cerruti said...

Ranjit and the Department of Urban Forestry have done wonderful work on the Unit Block of T Street NW - In the fall of 2012, they removed several dead trees, enlarged all of the existing tree boxes on the south side of the street, added three brand new tree boxes on the south side of the street, two new tree boxes alongside St Martin's church on the north side, and planted at least seven new trees. The block has never looked better! Reading the letter, the reasoning behind the removal and replacement of the four trees is quite simple - they are ornamental and will never grow large enough to create the shade canopy that is a city wide mandate. This resident of the unit block of T Street fully supports Ranjit and the Urban Forestry Administration! BRAVO !