What makes Oberlin a Tree City USA?

To the editor:

What is a Tree City USA?

It consists of four standards that must be met: 1) It must have a tree board department, 2) it must have a tree care ordinance, 3) it must have a community forestry program with an annual budget of $2 per capita, and 4) it must have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

I don’t know if the city is adhering to these standards. Standard number two, paragraph three, states the ordinance will provide clear guidance for planting, maintaining, and removing trees from streets, parks, and other public places. Was standard two only meant to apply to the downtown and immediate surrounding areas of Oberlin where the aesthetic value earns them recognition, or was it meant to encompass all the land within city limits?

Should we be called Tree Downtown USA?

Visit the Ramsey corridor and you will see how the city is causing trees in this one area of the city to be suffocated by standing water, neglected beyond repair, and butchered in the trimming process. If any maintenance is done to protect the power lines, the cut branches should not be left in the water and in and on the ground to become an ugly eyesore for everyone to see.

Is this not a public place? Many citizens visit here year-round. In this sense, we are not a Tree City USA for 18 years. Sadly, no one from the Arbor Day or forestry programs checks for compliance to the rules. As with the Environmental Protection Agency, they just believe what the city tells them. Therefore, we can expect the slaughter of these trees to continue.

John Whitman

Burt Latran Jr.