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Somerville Lorax speaks for the trees

Somerville tree stump with note

A contractor working on a state project to rebuild Beacon Street in Somerville recently removed most of the trees along one stretch without notifying the city or residents.

In response, LadyLazerJ reports, somebody placed anguished memorial notes and candles on all the stumps. And as you can see from her photo, some people don't care about the destruction of the stately truffula trees, um, oaks.

Another stump and message.

Top photo copyright LadyLazerJ. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.

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for contractors who wantonly cut down trees.

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This wasn't some random act of vandalism. MassDOT contracted with a company to do this as part of a project. Yah there should've been better communication, but that's water over the dam.

It's a freaking tree. Or several trees, whatever. Certainly not a cardinal sin. You can always plant new ones.

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And in about 15 to 25 years, depending on species, the new trees will finally provide close to the same valuable environmental, psychological and physical health benefits as these mature trees did, and the same shade canopy. Trees are treasure in an urban environment, you moron. You breathe cleaner air because trees. You have shade, breezes, privacy, and birds because trees.

In some cities where trees are removed against ordinances, the penalty includes paying as much as $1,000 per caliper inch of diameter of the removals to pay for decently sized replacement trees. Let's hope some honkin' big and fast-growing species gets replanted here.

http://www.mydelraybeach.com/Ord%2019-17.pdf

Delray Beach is way ahead of Somerville. The replanting plan may have been thought out, but the residents should have been notified and allowed input. And surely at least some of these trees could have been saved.

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If you read the article, you'll learn that these trees were scheduled for removal in the spring anyway. So while this was a minor scheduling error, those trees' days were numbered in any case.

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Without trees on our planet, you and I would not exist (at least in our current form).

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like Somerville's first bike track. Party like its 1899.

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The linked newspaper story was written on October 6, seeming to indicate the tree cutting happened on the 5th, almost two weeks ago.

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Original post edited accordingly.

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The :"Who Gives a F" reply on the note is classic Boston.

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I think the reply at the bottom should've been followed with a question mark. Isn't that an interrogative?

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That's more of a statement/exclamation. I think an exclamation point is appropriate, though a question mark would be as well. Even a period would be appropriate depending on the tone the author was trying to convey.

Sure, technically it goes against formal rules, but this isn't formal writing.

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"The Who give a fuck!"

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I deleted my post because I think my information may be out of date/not pertinent. My apologies.

One bit of info I should not delete: the project calls for well over 100 new trees to be planted so in the long run, things will look better than they do right now.

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Yeah I've been through that gambit before. The 100 new trees they plan will be barely larger than saplings and at least 50% of those will die from improper planting and maintenance before they are ever properly established. The trees that were cut down are at least 50 years old.

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Is that's what's called for in the specifications?

If you wanted, you could appeal to MassDOT to have larger, mature trees purchased and transplanted. Sure the costs are higher, but maybe it's a tradeoff that they buy and plant every other tree mature?

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Is that legal? To cut down trees without approval?

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They got approval. The plans showing trees being removed are reviewed by at least a dozen people at DOT, along with the city, any of whom could have objected.

Also of note, they're replacing trees at far greater than a 1:1 ratio.

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Thanks, obviously I didn't read the linked article.

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I don't understand the whole "without notifying the city or residents" thing. Does no one at the city look at the publicly available plans for the project? I know for a fact that DOT's distribution requirements at each design submittal include sending plan sets to the city.

https://www.somervillema.gov/beaconstreet

Clearly someone did, to put them on the city website.

These plans clearly show trees being removed, but also clearly show far more trees being planted. Beacon St will have far more trees after this project than it did before.

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This isn't about protecting trees over accessible sidewalks. All of these trees were taken down prematurely. It was a money grab by the contractor. These sidewalks aren't scheduled to be reconstructed until the Spring. What the contractor did was attempt to remove them all so he could get paid for the removals now and have some cash for the winter. There was no public benefit here. Whether or not it is reasonable to make a huge stink about it or not, the presence of the trees had a huge traffic calming benefit and they also looked nice (property values, and whatnot). These residents now have to put up with an ugly inactive construction zone throughout the winter when their section of the roadway wasn't even on this year's work list.

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The tiny little voice who responded to, "Who gives a f**k" with, "I Do."

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You need trees as part of the ecosystem. The oxygen the generate is good for combating the exhaust and pollution from all the stupid humans. Why don't we send this contractor out to Sonoma Valley in California right now.

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This is really sad :(

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