I stepped out of my house on South Eckar Street this afternoon (Monday Jan. 28) to find that two huge trees had been cut down on my block.
It was a major shock. In fact, I was surprised at what a strong physical response I had. Our beautiful block now seems denuded and ugly – at least in part. I moved here three years ago because of the town’s natural beauty and lushness, so this act really seems like a betrayal.
During the course of the day, I spoke to Supt. Greg Nilsson, and he was very cordial in explaining to me why the Bradford Pear trees were a problem. But surely there must be a better way to handle the situation than cutting all the pear trees down at once. Why didn’t they try to trim them back – or why didn’t they stagger the cutting of the two trees – and who knows how many more? I noticed some trees marked for cutting on Main St. And I know that several other giant trees have come down in the past year (notably in front of the fire house and Tra La La).
Cutting these trees really changes the physical nature of Irvington. It means more energy consumption in the hot summer. And it affects everyone’s housing values. But all that is secondary to how it affects one’s feeling about the town – our town – when you’re out and about.
This is a very disconcerting trend. And it adds insult to injury that those on Eckar Street were not even warned that these trees would be coming down. These trees are important – and cutting them down should not be done casually. Perhaps it should not be done at all without engaging those of us who live in the village. Perhaps there should be some formal stewardship of the town’s trees. If something like this is already in place, I would like to be part of it.
Greg Nilsson explained that the trees would be replaced this spring – which is good, although it will take years for them to make their presence felt.
I urge you to slow down on the removal of trees – the Bradford Pears and others, to pace yourselves more slowly before the town looks even more barren. And I think the citizens of Irvington should be made aware of all future plans in this regard.
Larry Frascella, Irvington