We would like to comment on the scheduled tree removal on Parrott Street in Cold Spring. The last of the five tall, mature trees has been marked. It seems a bit aggressive to me to remove all five at the same time.
We’ve lived on this street for 27 years. The first thing we noticed when we drove down the street were the beautiful old, tall trees that lined both sides. What’s left of them gives Parrott Street a charm all its own.
Thinking back, several years ago a limb came down in front of our house and then-Mayor Seth Gallagher took the time to come and meet with us. He contacted an arborist, and several limbs were removed. It’s still out front, although for now it’s slated for removal.
Five trees that have survived the better part of a century all reaching a stage requiring removal at the same time seems unusual. We anticipate that on Halloween in 2021, when 800 to 1,000 children come to our door, their reaction will be, “What on earth happened?”
In the last couple of years several mature trees have been cut down, such as the monumental and unique tree on the corner of Bank and Parrott. This has already altered the look and the shade on the street.
We would like to know if there is a plan moving forward. Shouldn’t there be some consideration given to replacing at least some of the trees with one of the native species? Can this be phased over the next few years so that there is some variety of appearance? Parrott Street was here when Abraham Lincoln came to inspect the West Point Foundry and we suspect it wasn’t lined with ornamental dwarf trees.
We hope they’ll still be here for us to see the trees change color this year, because we have not been apprised of their scheduled removal.
Jeff Barrett and Diana Stenzel, Cold Spring
We asked Jennifer Zwarich, chair of the village Tree Advisory Board, to respond. She wrote:
“As volunteers committed to protecting our village trees, the members of the Tree Advisory Board understand the sadness expressed here and agree that the removal of these aging Norway Maples and all the gifts they provide will be a deep loss for lower Parrott Street and for our community forest. This decision was not made lightly and not without years of trying other options with all of our heart and hope. With a commitment to conservation, we have had tree professionals monitor and advise on the care of these trees over the past many years and have used public funds to prune several and install cables on one, and have tried our best to keep them, even though they are clearly in decline, as long as we could reasonably ensure public safety.
“Unfortunately, their condition has deteriorated more rapidly in the last few years, and the village has received numerous complaints about the safety of these trees from other residents of the street. We have been advised by an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture on each tree and cannot in good conscience continue to take our preferred graduated approach to their management. We have already planted five trees on this block over the past several years to help mitigate this loss and plan to plant more trees on Parrott Street as soon as enough funds are raised. We hope residents will consider donating to speed this effort. See coldspringtree.weebly.com.”