How could Bakersfield ever be considered a tree city or green city ("Why is Bakersfield no longer listed as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Foundation?" Jan. 21)? There are very few properly pruned trees in Bakersfield and in Kern County, and it seems like its inhabitants believe a tree should look like a stick.

Pruning is done with chainsaws on an annual basis. In the summer, due to the area’s drastic tree mutilation, desecration and so called pruning, there is no shade and the thought of Bakersfield being a hot, dry and dusty town is reinforced.

The benefits of trees are numerous: shade, oxygen production, wildlife enhancement and beauty. Our trees aren’t beautiful or respected in our communities. Planting a tree and continually hacking it back doesn’t make us a tree city. Nowhere else in my travels have I seen such horrible treatment of trees. One doesn’t have to travel far to see tree cities that respect their trees (Visalia, Davis, etc.).

The tree pruners aren’t totally responsible — the public sees what is done in shopping centers and thinks it's the correct way. The extreme amount of brush hauled away after pruning makes the owner falsely believe that the tree was in sore need of extreme pruning. Gardeners' get paid for common area maintenance and want to accomplish it often for their payment.

Trees don’t need to be butchered on a yearly basis. The same trees are grown in the wild and are never pruned and they look great. By our continual misuse of trees and their hacking, we stimulate global warming.

Clark Goehring, commercial farmer and orchardist