Woodpecker Tree Removed

The Passaic DPW has been hard at work this summer and fall removing dead and dying trees from Memorial Park. Today they took down a maple tree that had been mostly dead for several years. I have walked past this tree twice a day most work days for the past thirteen years. This spring in particular I heard a red-bellied woodpecker in this tree most mornings and some afternoons. I saw him occasionally. There were several cavities that could provide nesting spots near the top of the tree.

Other trees in the park with similar dead branches and trunks, potential nesting spots for these woodpeckers, have also been marked for removal. Some have already been removed.

I’m pleased that the city is taking steps to clean up the park in this way. If these trees or branches from these trees were to come down in a storm, people could be hurt or killed or cars could be damaged. Part of the city’s motivation, no doubt, is to remove dangers that could result in lawsuits.

Observing the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the Herald News carried an article about efforts throughout Northern New Jersey to remove trees that could come down and do significant harm in the next big storm.

The desire to prevent damage and injury in in residential neighborhoods is understandable.

On the other hand, where will these beautiful birds go in the spring to build their nests? Are there enough older trees for all of the woodpeckers who are likely to return to this area this coming spring?

It’s twilight at both ends of the work day now when I walk through the park, so I don’t have a photo to post.

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