By Nancy Clark | December 10, 2020 0


One hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Whittier neighborhood in north Denver took root. Literally.

The city was among the fastest growing in the nation. New brick Victorian homes were trimmed in flagstone sidewalks. Proud homeowners planted trees in their front yards and vegetable gardens in the back.

Fast forward to the present. Whole blocks in this hood have been renovated. Homeowners would do almost anything to preserve existing landscaping when it comes to trees especially.

Just how many silver maples dot Denver’s city limits is a guess. Because they are one of the fastest growing shade trees, they were and remain popular. They live an average of 80-100 years, with some silver maples celebrating 130-year birthdays, according to

All the features and benefits of silver maples also contribute to the reasons the trees can disappoint: Silver maples are brittle and don’t fare well in heavy snow or ice storms. That combined with a tendency to fork at the trunk make careful pruning essential ongoing.

So when the towering 125-year-old silver maple on North Marion Street in Whittier started to make cracking noises on a hot 4th of July, it was a true emergency.

Donovan Arborists were first on the scene on the 5th. The first action they took was to advise car owners to move their vehicles parked under or near the tree, taping off the area with the same kind of crowd control tape used in other crime scene investigations.

Using a bucket truck, Donovan’s crews carefully vetted the fragile limbs of the soaring tree. Once they strategized the cutting plan, they started at the crown of the tree, trimming section by section. Thick and thin limbs were bound in ropes before each cut was made to keep them from tumbling to the ground from high above. Piece by piece the logs were stacked at the base of the tree and then moved to nearby truck beds were they were loaded for removal.

Patience, safety and more patience exemplified the entire removal process.

By day’s end, the tree was leveled to the ground and even the tiniest twigs cleared from the work area. Adjacent homes and property was spared the damage that could have resulted from a senior tree cracking at its core.

If you’ve got trees, you need Donovan Arborists to audit your trees’ condition and make a maintenance plan for 2021 care to avoid disaster.  Contact Donovan today.

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