The eastern white pine in the photo will be cut down this week.
The pine tree sits on the Park Mead North condominium property. When I asked Park Mead’s property manager, Westford Property Management, the reason for cutting down the tree, I was told that the removal of this standalone pine is due to the current weakness of the tree, probably accelerated by Merritt Village’s decision (the adjoining property owner) to remove all of their trees, which acted as a buffer or windshield that protected the eastern white pine in the past.
When you remove a large number of trees to clear a site for construction, you expose the remaining trees to new conditions. Sudden increases in amounts of sunlight and wind will shock many of the remaining trees. Since the trees at the Merritt Village project have been cut down, our eastern white pine has been dropping large broken branches on our parking lot, and this led to the decision to cut it down. It will cost Park Mead Condominium Association over one thousand dollars to remove this tree, but more importantly we will be losing the health that that tree brought to the people and wildlife in our community and its aesthetic value.
The recent forum on town buildings brought to mind the question: To what extent are we responsible for protecting the physical makeup of our town? Property owners have a right to cut down trees on their property, but if exercising those rights negatively impacts another’s property, what is to be done?
Developers can cut down trees with impunity. It’s no secret that they would be against a town ordinance restricting tree removals on private properties. The Merritt Village project has led to the destruction of 10 to 20 mature trees and in all the press around the project, there has been no mention of the loss of these trees, but now there is.