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Last week, some Cleveland Park residents were outraged when the District Department of
Transportation started pruning city trees in their neighborhood. “All of the large, mature trees have been cut down—I thought this was a little extreme,” states resident Jim Evans. Another resident, who does not wish to be named, says she was “furious” when they took off about two-thirds of a healthy 3-year-old sugar maple in front of her home on Jenifer Street NW. “I’m not sure why we’re bothering to plant trees if this is what will happen to them a few years after being planted,” she said. Department official Ainsley Caldwell says, “I will admit that there are times when we do pruning that is not appropriate.” But after visiting Cleveland Park, Caldwell stands firmly behind the arboreal trim: “It may look a little bit unsightly, but it’s part of what management of trees in an urban setting is about.”