Letters to the Editor

New SMP regulations will keep arborists busy | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Bainbridge Island, where we love trees so much the removal of a half-broken limb is about to become a crime.

According to the draft SMP, Section Minor Pruning, “All pruning shall meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) tree pruning standards.”

The pruning standards referenced are written by no elected official, but by a select committee of professional arborists. The standards are subject to change and expansion without notice. According to the standards as currently written, “Tree maintenance shall be performed only by arborists or arborist trainees.”

It is ridiculous on its face that when our next windstorm leaves a half-broken tree branch hanging down, it will be mandatory to pay an arborist to complete the limb’s removal. If the SMP passes as written, while absurd it will be the law with regard to cleaning up broken branches. Perhaps we should rename the SMP the Bainbridge Island Arborist’s Full Employment Act. The soon-to-be mandatory expense of a regular visit by an arborist after every big blow will have the exact opposite of the intended effect; people will be less likely to plant trees.

As Winston Churchill said, “If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.”


Bainbridge Island

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Sep 23
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates