I think that I shall never see… the end of all this tree-cutting

The chopping team in action
The chopping team in action

It seems that my town has gone completely chainsaw-crazy this summer. Trees are being cut down everywhere. The high-pitched revving of the chainsaw and the accompanying rumble of the wood-chipper are the sounds of the season. Every morning by 9 a.m., I can hear them start up somewhere around town.

While I understand the need to cut down dead and diseased trees to avoid potential injury and damage to power lines, I have trouble believing that cutting down trees to this extent is really necessary.

When my husband and I bought our home three years ago, there was a row of four magnificent pine trees stretching down our street – one in front of our home, one on the lot beside, and two in front of the house next to the lot. Within months, the tree next to ours was cut down because that’s where our future neighbour wanted to put in a driveway. Then the neighbour two doors down cut off half the branches on her pine tree to improve access to her building site. Now it looks like a botched shaving job. This morning, I came home to discover that the fourth tree is being demolished. Our pine remains the sole intact tree.

Oh, the indignities that this poor pine must suffer...
Oh, the indignities that this poor pine must suffer…

Neighbours across the street just took down a magnificent old maple last week. While my son played at the playground yesterday, we watched yet another mature maple come crashing down. And all the trees on the outside of the chain link fence around my older son’s schoolyard have been cut down. Why? Liability reasons, I was told. When I asked if the Town was planning to replace the ones they cut, they said no – and seemed surprised at such a question.

Every time I see a tree cut down, I want to cry. It affects me intensely. Don’t people realize that trees are one of our greatest assets? Trees clean the air, cool the temperature, shade our homes, and reduce our dependency on A/C in the summer. They protect this town from the battering winter storms that come off Lake Huron. They hold moisture in the sandy soil, which means less wasteful watering. Trees are Nature’s playmate for curious children, offering branches to climb, leaves to jump in, sticks to wield, and shade to rest.

Last but not least, trees beautify and improve property values, which surely is something that even the town council can relate to. Houses built on bare patches of dirt are a dime a dozen, but homes on lots with mature trees? Those are rare, precious, and always expensive.

Few people, least of all myself, want to live in a town that’s bereft of trees. I really wish people would think long and hard before taking a chainsaw to their trees, and do so only if absolutely necessary. If only the Town would implement mandatory replanting policies because, with a bit of extra effort and incentive, this town could be spectacularly green and leafy in a few years, and everyone would benefit from that.

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3 thoughts on “I think that I shall never see… the end of all this tree-cutting

  1. It makes me want to cry, too. In Seattle, we have lots of hills with water views—which is great—but people get so ridiculous about anything blocking their view that whole neighborhoods have been shaved clean of anything taller than a shrub. In some places, there are laws that say you cannot block a neighbor’s view with a tree! One former Seattle Mariner made the news by actually suing his neighbor and forcing him to cut his favorite mature pine tree that was blocking his “view” of the lake. I cannot think of a better view than a tree.

  2. This is truly sad. Could you organise a community planting tree project ? Perhaps a community which works hard to plant tress may be more likely to understand their value. In the UK many communities are planting trees- we have The Woodland Trust which will donate trees to community projects or schools. I’m sure that Canada must have a similar project. Many studies outline the necessity for community involvement – citing significantly fewer incidents of vandalism and objections when a community had planted its own trees.

  3. I know how you feel it makes want to cry too it also affects me intensely
    I remember not so long ago I use to live above a beautiful old pine tree and one day men with chainsaws arrived and started to chop off its branches,I wished they would stop but all day long I heard the howl of the chainsaws as the teeth would cruelty rip Into the doomed tree and then silence,then they would start up again until by the first day the tree was bare and only the trunk was left
    the next day they finished the poor tree off log by log from the top
    I can’t help but think of the pain that tree must have been in,what a sad waste !
    I have always appreciated trees I think thy need our protection as they can’t fend for themselves

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