Having noticed my series of outraged posts about the utterly needless approval by the City of Salem of a US Bank request to remove five large trees in front of the bank building in downtown Salem, recently someone sent me a photo of the Ellis Island National Monument in Upper New York Bay.
The photo was found via Google Maps. Since it was rather blurry, here's a similar photo I found on Google Images.
If Ellis Island was transported into downtown Salem and transformed into a US Bank branch, bank president Alan Allbritton would have asked to have them cut them down. And City of Salem Public Works director would have allowed this, even though the City's Shade Tree Committee and expert arborists would have advised otherwise.
Thankfully, the federal government has more sense than the City of Salem and US Bank. Plus, there aren't any political shenanigans Involved with the Ellis Island trees.
US Bank claimed that five beautiful Japanese Zelkova trees needed to be killed because they cut off sightlines to a building in Salem's Historic District. However, nothing in Salem's tree ordinance (Chapter 86) talks about criteria for removing trees there -- only planting trees there.
So Fernandez and Allbritton made stuff up to get around the plain fact that there was no good reason, none at all, to cut down the trees. They also seemingly lost the ability to understand simple English, such as the familiar word "prune."
(The thrice-repeated recommendation of the Shade Tree Committee, should any problems with the size of the trees be apparent.)
I took this photo before three of the five Zelkovas were cut down.
This was an unjustified murder of three innocent trees. Hopefully more innocent blood sap won't be shed from the remaining two trees, saved from the initial slaughter by baby birds sheltering in their branches.
Historic buildings can coexist with beautiful large trees. There are plenty of examples of this elsewhere in downtown Salem, as on Ellis Island. Unfortunately, politics trumped sound decision-making in this case.