Downtown tree pruning between 48th and 52nd Street and 47th and 51st Avenue will take place on weekdays starting July 15 and will finish up around Aug. 2.
City tree maintenance is part of a rotational program that includes pruning for safety, plant health care and clearance.
“People love the downtown trees. They do actually get a lot of respect,” said Susan Katzell, urban forester with the city.
The shade they provide pedestrians and vehicles is appreciated, and they soften look of the buildings in the inner city, she said.
Katzell said downtown trees are older so they need higher maintenance. As deeper-root trees, they may be showing signs of drought despite frequent rain this summer compared to surface-root trees, like poplar and spruce.
“The deeper root trees, like ash and elm, the amount of rain we’ve had this year isn’t replenishing the ground water table,” Katzell said.
“You’ll see some dead wood appear in deep-rooted species of trees because the water just isn’t there for them to take up so they will shut down some of their limbs and branches. We haven’t seen a lot of trees shutting down. We’re still doing okay, but we do need some more rain for deep-rooted trees.”
Trees that line downtown streets also live surrounded by asphalt and sidewalks so it is difficult for water to infiltrate, she said.
During tree pruning, driving lane and parking closures will be intermittent between the 5:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and will be signed accordingly to make way for bucket trucks.
Residents and commercial businesses should adhere to safety and traffic control signage to maintain adequate safe work zones between the public, arborists and crews.
The city thanks Red Deerians in advance for their patience and cooperation.