2018-04-20 / Letters

Linden tree had become safety hazard

To the editor,

In response to Elizabeth Bodner Cumiskey’s assertion that the Linden tree at the corner of Fletcher and Main street in Kennebunk was removed “ruthlessly,” I can only say ignorance is bliss.

If she had bothered to read the front-page story in the Feb. 16 edition of the Kennebunk Post, she would have known why the tree needed to be removed. It had nothing to do with visibility. It had everything to do with public safety.

The tree had serious decay in the trunk caused by being hit by a truck 20-plus years ago. Anyone who knows anything about trees knows that a Linden (tilia cordata) while being classified as a hardwood is anything but. Upon being wounded, decay can spread quite rapidly compared to other hardwoods such as oak or maple. They are much more like a birch, which also decays very quickly. Anyone who has ever had some birch firewood piled up for more than a couple of years can attest to that.

We had been keeping this tree under a watchful eye for many years. Over the last year the decay in the trunk had progressed to the point that some action needed to be taken. We had the tree evaluated by an appraiser certified by the International Society of Aboriculture. His findings were consistent with our observations. The tree was a hazard to public safety.

Perhaps you should look on YouTube for “Central Park Tree Falls,” where a tree falls on a mother and three children. What would your outrage have been if the Linden had fallen on a car or two waiting at the light?

The tree committee, myself and the town of Kennebunk value all our trees highly. We do not remove trees on a whim. I take great exception to her accusations.

C. Wayne Cutting, tree warden

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