Workers remove trees posing safety risk at Slater Park

Workers remove trees posing safety risk at Slater Park

Rotted and diseased trees have been removed at Slater Park in Pawtucket. The trees were considered a safety hazard. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

PAWTUCKET – Some 20 trees have been removed from high-traffic areas at Slater Park, most of them due to being invaded by moths or rot. Trees were taken down in areas near the playground, animal shelter, picnic grove, boathouse, bandstand and roadways.

These trees posed a major safety concern for park patrons and structures during heavy wind storms,” said Wilder Arboleda, spokesman for Mayor Donald Grebien. The Department of Public Works is exploring the replacement of the trees, with the fall being the best time to plant, he said.

The city each year budgets $12,000 to complete its tree maintenance plan at Slater Park. In past years, the focus has mostly been on trimming dead wood, lifting the drip edge up (the limits of where water drips from the tree), and removing a couple of rotted trees.

The city takes great pride in providing a safe and clean park for residents to enjoy, said Arboleda, and the DPW’s tree maintenance plan is a big part of that. Trees are evaluated each year based on safety concerns and prioritized based on location and budget. The work happens in May and June, according to Arboleda.

Many of the trees that were taken down last month were very unsightly, losing limbs and developing a gnarly appearance due to age and disease. In addition to the enhanced safety aspect, removing them and replacing them with something younger and more attractive also contributes to the overall appearance of the park.