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Fourth Street trees are a gift

Mature trees on East Fourth Street are slated to come down. (Photo by Richard Thomas/Duluth Budgeteer)

To the editor,

Ever since I heard we might lose old, healthy trees on East Fourth Street for “improvement” and “expansion,” there was something in me that realized we are expanding and improving in all the wrong ways.

First, these are irreplaceable. Don't tell anyone that planting new trees helps. It does not.

I am quite certain that nothing at all can replace the air-cleansing qualities, the shading benefits and the enhancement to property values. Nothing can replace the years it took to grow to such heights, become a familiar and healthy part of the neighborhood and attain the sheer, beautiful magnitude of a large, mature tree.

In a wealthy neighborhood, some clever architect would cough up a plan or two that carefully includes all the neighbors. And by “all the neighbors,” I mean the trees included. These benign creatures bring immense character and comfort, nurture communities and impart life-enhancing qualities.

The repairs are important and vital. But these tree-removal wounds and losses cannot be assuaged. These are irreplaceable. The age of trees, the sense of belonging to this neighborhood, the ecosystem supported by the trees and the physical health benefits — these were not worked into the cost equation.

Please rewrite the costs and include a new plan that works with and around the trees. This neighborhood deserves nothing short of these plans. We are all in this together. Our climate change threat calls on us to preserve as many of our old trees as possible.

Maggie Kazel


The author is a former resident of East Fourth Street in Duluth.