Teaneck Suburbanite: Opinion Letter on Teaneck Red Oak
July 12, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
To the editor,
It was a sad day in Teaneck when those who have been clamoring for the destruction of the majestic red oak on Cedar Lane finally got their wish. This tree – centuries old – was here before any of us, and before there was a town, or even a nation. It survived countless adversities including the American Revolution, the Teaneck riots, and every storm that has been thrown at it for some 300 years but it could not survive human folly.
Instead of caring for this natural wonder in our midst, we remove nearly half of its roots during a construction project… and then later learn that it isn’t doing so well, and has to come down. Besides, we say, it stands in the way of high property values and development. Now that this beautiful tree is out of the way of “progress,” we get treated to a letter from the landowner in the Teaneck Suburbanite, in which he practically gloats over finally getting his wish to have it destroyed, and proclaims his hope that those who defended the “nearly dead” tree will suffer from guilty consciences — for making him wait! Wow.
Our stately trees are under attack all across this self-described “Tree City, USA.” Just about all sizable trees of any species have come thudding down near our home since we moved here 10 years ago. Just last week, one of the few remaining ones – a healthy maple with no rot whatsoever – was cut down across the corner. A neighbor was jubilant. I asked why. “It had to go… it was lifting the sidewalk!” he proclaimed.
So I guess even the small ones have to go. Heaven forbid we should redo the sidewalk to account for a tree… no, every tree of any size might damage a sidewalk, every tree could possibly fall and hurt someone, or drop a limb that might damage property. So, we better take them all down, right? And now the town has approved a new bill that will make it easier for residents to do just that, without having to wait for the town to evaluate its trees. They can do it themselves by hiring their own “tree experts” — probably the very ones who stand to profit from the removal of trees.
I fear that humans are in for a shock… that sooner or later it will become terribly clear that we can not just have endless growth, endless development, endless destruction, and expect everything to be fine.
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