Letter: Tree Removal on Tremont Street Comes as a Surprise

A South End resident is looking for answers about 655 Tremont Street's tree removal.

Dear Editor,

This morning I woke up to the pleasant noise of chain saws and wood chippers outside my windows.

I look out and the city has cut down 3-4 beautiful trees that lined our street. There was no notice of this happening, and they destroyed my privacy and curb appeal. 

I know that other residents of the area were upset as well. The trees were beautiful and healthy. They withstood the winds of Sandy without breaking a limb. 

The trees were located alongside the building 655 Tremont Street on W. Brookline where Gold Gallery is. 

My windows are directly above Gold Gallery looking out onto W. Brookline. I now have no privacy, and the street looks horrible. They also destroyed our brick sidewalk in the process. 

I thought I would bring this to your attention so we can get some neighborhood awareness about this, and prevent things like this happening in the future. 

Let me know if you have any questions, and go take a look; it is bad!


Patrick Miller 

MPreston January 30, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Tree cutting crews do show up unannounced and on what appears to be a random choice of streets and/or trees and start cutting and feeding a chipper. The tree cutters do not appear to have any knowledge of how to trim a tree leaving behind a badly trimmed one sided tree, or chopping down healthy trees that do not appear to be causing any problems. If I remember, the trucks say "Northeastern something" on the sides.
Nancy January 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM
I agree with Patrick- the "no parking" signs posted along that stretch of West Brookline noted there would be tree MAINTENANCE- not tree REMOVAL. This is very disappointing and has dramatically affected the look of the street.
Sara Jacobi January 30, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I'm going to follow up with the Parks Dept. for an answer about these specific trees. But in the meantime, anyone else have opinions on this tree removal? Sounds like it is quite shocking to see them all gone so suddenly with no warning.
Omar January 30, 2013 at 05:17 PM
I was also very disappointed (borderline angry) by the tree removal. Trees are a key component of West Brookline Street’s charm and beauty. They flower in the spring and provide shade in the summer. The fact that the removal came without warning adds insult to injury. The neighborhood should be more aware of this kind of activity and prevent it in the future.
JMc January 30, 2013 at 05:17 PM
We had one tree on lower dwight severely trimmed last week. This week there's a tree maintenance sign, which has me worried they'll remove it entirely...
Nancy January 30, 2013 at 05:27 PM
The Pilot Block neighborhood was not aware of the removal, either. I recall that the Parish Cafe on Mass Ave proposed to remove a tree and it was brought to the neighborhood's attention (and became a subject of debate). While they are a private company, it seems that the City's plans should involve the same process of notifying neighbors and seeking input.
Jodi January 30, 2013 at 05:33 PM
They took a tree down on Dwight street, but there were posted permits about 1-2 weeks in advance showing that they were going to either remove/prune them.
Andy Carpentier January 30, 2013 at 06:06 PM
tree gone in front of Buttery on Union Park. what did the tree do wrong?
South End Neighbor January 30, 2013 at 09:31 PM
An absolute joke that I return home from a business trip to see the corner of West Brookline and Tremont street completely butchered. Healthy trees that have withstood all major storms in recent history get chopped to the ground by contractors hired by the city. I am outraged and demand answers from our councilmen why this occurred.
Rivers January 31, 2013 at 01:08 AM
@southendneighbor, curious if you're demanding answers via a comment to a story in the Patch? Or if you've actually contacted your councilmen and women?
Rivers January 31, 2013 at 01:21 AM
@nancy, I think the Parrish restaurant trees became an issue as part of their larger zoning appeal to add outside seating in a fairly narrow sidewalk. I don't think it was just the simple arbor/tree removal issue, though I could certainly be wrong about the specifics. I wonder if the your trees were diseased or if there is a plan to replace them. Hopefully South End Neighbor's polite and diplomatic discussion with his or her elected officials will provide some further information. Or perhaps Sara. It's good that you all care about the street where you live.
JMc January 31, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Indeed Jodi - the tree they 'trimmed' last week has now been removed. Linehan's office has been notified and they are also waiting for an answer form parks (I sent them the link to this article as well, as we seem to be collecting a list of removed trees here...)
Sara Jacobi January 31, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Hey all - Thanks so much for sharing your concerns. I'm glad we were able to get a neighborhood discussion going about this issue. Got a response this evening from the Parks Dept. on this, which you can find here: http://patch.com/A-15rv
SM_bos January 31, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Sara, thank you for the follow-up and for doing some digging. I walked past this area tonight and definitely recalled having seen these trees leaning pretty far over West Brookline Street. It seems that communication with neighbors could have been more pro-active, and the year-long wait for a new tree seems a bit long, but the City does seem to be trying to do the right thing.
South End Neighbor January 31, 2013 at 03:32 PM
E-mailed Bill Linehan before I posted on the patch - thanks for the concern Rivers


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