Good Question: What happened to the trees at the Winfield Grill?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you’ve driven or walked down Winton Road in the City of Rochester recently, you might notice stumps where there used to be trees.

The trees used to stand outside the Winfield Grill and one of you wanted to know what happened to them. A couple of months ago, there were three trees in front of the Winfield Grill. Now, there are none.

Shay wrote to us about this saying: “I live in the North Winton Village and recently ran by the Winfield on one of those hot, sunny days we had. I said to myself, ‘oh weird, they don’t have the sun awning up yet and simultaneously realized that the 3 trees it’s normally attached to, had been cut down!’ … what is happening?”

One of those awnings was held up by a tree. Now, there are just stumps in the section between the sidewalk and the street.

The City of Rochester says: “the tree removal that your viewer spoke of was a request from the owner of the Winfield. New plantings are scheduled for this fall” and “due to the health of the trees, removing them was recommended.”

The owner of the Winfield Grill, Chris Dimascio, confirmed that the trees were unhealthy but said he did not request the removal.

According to Dimascio, he was told by city forestry that one of the three trees, the one closest to the parking lot, would need to be removed because it was a safety risk. He then asked that the other two trees be removed at the same time so that when they’re re-planted, they’ll all be the same size.

Dimascio requested that the new trees be sycamore trees. The city says it will replace them this fall. So, if you visit the Winfield Grill this spring or summer, you won’t see trees out front. Dimascio says that his customers are upset and disappointed to see the old trees go and in the month that they’ve been gone, it has had an impact on business.

The City of Rochester says its forestry division maintains 70,000 public trees throughout the city, which includes street trees, park trees, and cemeteries.

The city says tree removal decisions are based on three criteria: public safety, urban forest health, and cost. In other words, if the maintenance of the tree costs more than the tree itself, it could be cut down.

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