LETTER: Trees are undervalued in Port Alberni, says writer

I cannot understand why San Group cut down the trees along Stamp Avenue…

To the Editor,

I cannot understand why San Group cut down the trees along Stamp Avenue. I wrote to mayor Sharie Minions to gauge her stance on the beautification of Port Alberni, and ask why this was allowed. I feel it just makes the whole place uglier.

It seems there is a general under-appreciation of the trees in Port Alberni among property owners. I had a neighbour who cut down five lovely maples because she was “sick of raking leaves.” I told her I would have gladly rake them up for her, but it was too late!

The property value was and is greatly diminished; people love trees. I see some lovely, healthy big trees being cut down here and there and one wonders why? They provide much needed shade in the summer and are beautiful. Still, perhaps people are afraid they will fall on the house: understandable. yet still a bit sad.

The province is logging the old growth like never before and endless convoys of trucks are taking the timber to God knows where—mostly overseas. Deforestation is necessary for the present economy yet is aggravating climate change and putting pressure on carbon sinks.

It is uplifting to see a completely different attitude coming from Europe, where one person who found a new life in planting trees states: “You take a tree and you say: ‘Oh my God, that is a baby’. When I plant it, I see into the future, and imagine it to be a tall tree.” He struggles with the language and emotion, and so taps his words into Google Translate and hands over his phone: “It’s like being born again.”

Undervaluing the trees in Port Alberni only hurts Port Alberni. We make it uglier and uglier with each one that comes down.

Unless property owners and municipal workers understand the value of every tree, it could be time for the municipality to put restrictions on cutting down healthy, useful and beautiful trees on both private and public lands.

Michael Wright,

Port Alberni

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