Why are the Main Street Trees Trimmed as They are?

The latest 'You Ask, Patch Answers' addresses that question.

Editor's note: In our column "You Ask, Patch Answers," we help you to find answers to your questions. Email westborough@patch.com if you have a question that you would like us to investigate. Today, we answer an emailed inquiry about why the trees on Main Street in Westborough have been pruned as they are.

The trees on Main Street are Bradford Pear trees, and receive maintenance trimming every two years, according to Westborough Department of Public Works Assistant Manager Richard Voutas.

The trimming allows the trees to grow "a little bit wider," Voutas explains.

"It's supposed to add a little bit of body to them," he says.

Jessica September 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Trimming makes sense. Making them look like they just got a flat top buzz from Phils, that I don't understand.
Paula Skog September 20, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Yes, that was exactly the question that I asked the editor. I know they need to be pruned, but why the unnatural looking "flat tops"?
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
As Mr. Voutas explained to me, the trimming is done in the fashion recommended for this type of tree. MG
Jessica October 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM
One google search on images for "how to trim a bradford pear" and not one has a flat top. Frankly, it looks ridiculous and it reflects on the town. I think we need a little investigative reporting.
Thom Smyth December 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM
The Bradford pear is an inexpensive, fast growing tree. Because of this, they are everywhere and overused. You can see mangled, broken Bradford pears all over the suburbs of Massachusetts. They are naturally weak and prone to damage. People buy them because they are cheap and they bloom in April when they go to Home Depot once a year to buy garden supplies. Hard pruning is appropriate in an urban environment. Think of Paris street trees- all pruned hard. They do not need to be flat topped, but tight, unatural balls on a stick works in a city streetscape. Go see the linden trees around the fountains at the Christian Science center in Boston. Beautiful. There are two valid reasons for hard pruning small trees in downtown Westborough. 1. They don't get too big and block the signs of businesses. 2. Visually we dont have to look at mangled trees later on. Forest trees grown natually look best in locations with plenty of space for them. The elm tree in the traffic island will only look better with time. Think of the Bradfords more like shrubs on a stick.


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