City of Mobile pruning trees for Mardi Gras parades

Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:25 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The first Mardi Gras parade of the year is exactly one week away, and Mobile is getting the parade routes ready.

“This is a unique route that we are pruning for Mardi Gras. This allows our parade revelers to go from point A to point B where they get their float from the barn to the actual parade route. And we’ve gotta prune them clearance for that,” said Peter Toler, Urban Forester for the City of Mobile.

The trees must be trimmed, so the floats and their riders don’t get caught in the limbs.

“If we undercut, then it’s gonna hit the float or potentially someone on it. And if we overcut, it may make the tree look bad so we don’t want to cut more than we have to,” added Chris Francis.

It’s no easy feat; in fact, it’s a tedious process.

“That right there is called a height rod. That is to make sure they don’t exceed the height of what they’re required to prune because in the tree care world, less is more when it comes to pruning,” said Toler.

The pruning is executed in a way that doesn’t harm the foliage.

“All the tree alterations that you see taking place behind you are done in accordance with the ANCA-300 tree care pruning standards. So yes, it is all being done according to industry standards by credential standards supervising the work along with myself,” explained Toler.

The crew has taken preparations to greater heights- even riding in an actual Mardi Gras float to get accurate measurements.

“This team behind us- you will never see them during Mardi Gras because their prep work is done long before the parades ever show up,” added Toler.

“We have an estimated 2000 miles of roadway or more. And there’s trees that line all of those. I heard an estimate one time- we have 8 million trees in the city. We have a lot to do always but we love our job, and we love taking care of these trees,” he said.

Toler says they have about 9 days left of pruning the routes.

For a complete list of Mardi Gras parade routes, click this link.


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