Kalispell's Urban Forestry Crews prune nearly 2,500 trees in 2018

Kalispell crews prune trees on 2nd Ave W in Kalispell on Friday. (NBC Montana Photo)

In 2018, Kalispell's Urban Forestry Crews pruned nearly 2,500 boulevard trees. It is the most they have ever done.

They were able to prune so many because they now have two more arborists on staff to help. The city gave the program funding back in August 2017 to be able to prune trees all year-round.

Kalispell parks superintendent Fred Bicha said it gave them the ability to aggressively prune trees rather than reactively pruning them.

Crews were previously only able to work three months out of the year.

The city has about 10,000 trees in boulevards and parks. The goal is to prune large trees every seven years and small trees every three.

“You know, get the trees growing healthy,” said Bicha. “We want to improve safety No. 1. The structure of our trees, No. 2, and improve the aesthetics of the trees in general and things like that."

Bicha told NBC Montana they are playing some much needed catch-up right now; that's why the number of trees was so high.

After they are caught up, they will likely prune about 1,000 a year.

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