Stop cutting down our beautiful big trees

Stop cutting down our beautiful big trees

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Tatiana Didik started this petition to Brian Stack and

There is a huge renovation project going on Palisade Ave, promising to bring an improvement to the look of our beloved towns. However important it is, there is a concern shared by many citizens of Union City and Weehawken, namely: Most of the large, old trees along the avenue are marked to be cut down.

Why are large, mature trees important? Not only do they make our streets more charming and beautiful, they also contribute much more to air quality than smaller trees do, thus making our city air healthier, substantially reducing the amount of pollution in our city air, which has been linked to many kinds of cancer and other diseases.

This “beautification” project may be necessary from the perspective of infrastructure; but other solutions besides the wholesale elimination of large, old trees exist. For example:

1. The towns may fear that falling trees could cause outages during major storms if they fall onto electrical wires.

Alternative solutions:

a) Put wires underground, which would be a huge contribution to the beauty of Union City and Weehawken, making many streets comparable to the famous “painted ladies” of San Francisco.

b) Cut individual branches cleanly and evenly, not just to free up the wires but also with consideration given to tree balance so that the tree does not lean to one side, maintaining aesthetics and tree health.

2. Tree branches elevate the pavement.

Alternative solution: Build elevated pavements, similar to what was done in Charleston, S.C. Not only does this save charming old trees, but it also gives the city a unique look. As a bonus, it allows the town to place wires underneath the pavement while keeping access to them easy.

Many trees not marked as unhealthy are also being taken down, presumably to ease new pavement installation. This conduct is unacceptable. As people living close to Palisade Avenue and concerned about future of our neighborhood, we demand that the towns:

- Revise the tree-cutting policy: Only cut down unhealthy trees or those that are significantly leaning to one side.

- Include “big healthy tree” workarounds in the beautification project.

- Stop cutting down trees while the alternative solutions are being worked out.

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