TIMBER! Matthew Yates, of Newton, Ontario-based Schmidt Logging Inc. brings down the top portion of a white spruce near James Street North and Widder Street Tuesday. He and his co-workers Trevor and Scott Kuepfer took down it and a neighbouring spruce for safety reasons after the trees were damaged and found to be rotten following a recent storm.
Tuesday morning and into the afternoon, workers from Newton, Ontario-based Schmidt Logging Inc., were removing a pair of spruce trees near the intersection of Widder and James streets found to be rotten and posing a safety concern after a recent storm.
St. Marys resident Brian Harris has noticed a lot of trees coming down around town lately, and is concerned that an adequate number of trees are not being planted in their place.
“When people take them down on their property, I can understand if there’s a danger to the house or the property, but, what about if there’s not, and they’re just cutting them down for the sake of cutting them down?” he said. “We’ve had numerous trees cut down throughout our neighbourhoods. Do we not have to be a little bit responsible? We’ll soon have no trees left in our town.”
He pointed to several recent examples he’s seen, including some trees in “a subdivision going up by Lover’s Lane.”
“All those trees are cut down there,” Harris said. “It was a beautiful deer habitat and they just cut all the trees down.”
“Anybody at any time can clear cut their property,” said Town Councillor Carey Pope. “There isn’t any [policy for replanting on private property]. I would like there to be but I don’t think I’ve got any support from Council.”
St. Marys CAO Brent Kittmer said the Town does have a policy in place to replace trees on municipal property, by a ratio of two trees planted for every one cut down. But no such policy exists for trees cut down on private land.
“I’d like to try again before my council term is over,” Coun. Pope said. “I think there’s a want and desire.”
Harris is also concerned that not enough is being done to replace the many ash trees that fell victim to the emerald ash borer
“Is there a plan in place to replace all of the ash trees that have been taken down because of the ash borer?” he asked. “That’s no fault of the town’s, but is there a plan to replace those trees that we’ve lost?”
Kittmer said the Town is aware of the issue, however there is currently no plan budgeted to replace ash trees lost in St. Marys.