Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

Why are trees in my neighborhood being trimmed so dramatically?

Issue:A reader wanted to know why the lower branches on many trees are gone.

'I've lived here 20 years and can't recall the pruning being so dramatic,' he wrote. 'I'm wondering what the reasoning for it was.'

Status: The city's tree-pruning program is designed to trim public trees so they don't interfere with pedestrians and vehicles, said Public Works Director Bill Porter. He added the trimming also helps prevent branches from falling down due to storm damage.

Porter said the pruning is done in sections about every seven to 10 years. The most recent program — targeting residential and other public streets between North Avenue and Center Street — began last November and was scheduled to run through March.

Porter said crews should be finished by the end of this week.

'Some trimming may be done here and there at other times of the year, but this is the main program timeline,' Porter said, noting that tree planting and fertilization dominates the rest of the year.

'We have professional arborists doing the work who know what they are doing.'

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