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A Tree-Trimming Debate Grows In Brookfield

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Critics say the village of Brookfield is overly aggressive in the way it trims trees. (CBS)

Critics say the village of Brookfield is overly aggressive in the way it trims trees. (CBS)

Mike Puccinelli Mike Puccinelli
Mike Puccinelli serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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BROOKFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – There’s a controversy blossoming in the west suburban of Brookfield over the city’s trees.

As CBS 2′s Mike Puccinelli reports, critics say the village’s tree-trimming effort has gotten out of hand.

The $100,000 program aims to keep Brookfield’s designation as a Tree City USA town.

Resident Pete Mandra is among those unhappy with the local efforts, including the results on the tree in the front of his house.

“I think they’re butchering the trees,” says Mandra, who fears some trees could die.

His tree has been trimmed down to the trunk about 20 feet up. A block away, a far taller tree has been trimmed in much the same way.

“I feel they are over-trimming the trees,” says Robin O’Malley, the former president of the Brookfield Garden Club. “I think they are trimming small branches off that don’t need to be taken off.”

Village forester Scott DeRoss says the trees will actually come back stronger, and he says the limbs have to be removed in order to insure public safety.

“I’ve never had a tree die from trimming,” he says.

Critics say tiny limbs are being removed that couldn’t possibly pose a threat. O’Mally calls it “busy work.”

“Our contractors are not butchering the trees,” counters Alan Kitzer, Brookfield public works superintendent. “They’re doing what’s best for the public safety and the health of these trees.”

Officials say the village is liable if any resident or visitor is injured because of a falling tree limb. They add there is likely no way they can satisfy all of the village’s residents, because opinions about tree-trimming tend to vary so widely.

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