LETTER: Tree Removals at Riverside Train Station Seem Unnecessary

Submitted by Kate McKenzie, former Riverside resident

I was extremely dismayed today (4/18/21) to see all the tree removal signs at Riverside train station. I grew up in Riverside and although I do not live there now, I return often to see many friends, as well as to visit gravesites.

I recall several years ago there was a plan by the power company that was thwarted to cut down a number of these Oval Avenue trees. And I am aware of the horrible clear cut Metro North performed last year alongside Riverside School, in the face of much community objection.

I don’t know what the purpose of this current Oval Avenue tree removal proposal is, but if it is due to the wires above, it seems it is unnecessary to unilaterally cut down every tree that grows there, as many can never ever grow that tall, such as the flowering plums, or are not planted nearly as high as the trees on the hillsides, which are indeed closer to the wires and have been badly pruned in the past.

Additionally, there are ways of managing older trees in size and scale with judicious pruning or even coppicing or pollarding. To destroy every single tree in this clear cut method is an extremely outdated way of managing a landscape, both ecologically and aesthetically.

When arriving on the train, the plantings are a lovely welcome to Riverside. It would be a true desecration to destroy them in this manner, leaving yet another brutal clear cut scar in a prominent place in the community. I strongly object to the destruction of these living trees and urge there to be an effort to find a better way.

Kate McKenzie