Grieving over the loss of so many beautiful, life-giving trees in Peterborough

Trees have been cleared from an area on Parkhill Road. A claim made by LTM Land Corp says the City authorized trees to be cleared on a Parkhill Road property planned to host a subdivision without permission, leading to more $100,000 in damages. – Taylor Clysdale/Metroland

To the editor:

I read with dismay the article on the city being accused of cutting 42 trees without the owners’ permission. It added to my grieving over how the city has, over the past year, had thousands of trees killed, and in the process made Peterborough much less attractive.

Let’s take an inventory.

• Thousands of tress and bushes were killed along Pioneer Road. The irony was that this was done in part to accommodate clean and green technologies.

  • Home builder suing Peterborough for removing trees from subdivision lands

• Hundreds of trees cut along the canal from the liftlock to the single wooden bridge.

• Hundreds to thousands, and countless bushes, killed on both side of the Nassau Road bridge.

(Both of these last two were Parks Canada which seems to have changed its focus from parks to being a tree-removal organization.)

• Many dozens — perhaps even reaching 100 between the parking lots by the Bonaccord skate park, including three large healthy mature trees bordering Bonaccord on city land.

• Dozens behind the outfield at East City baseball diamonds

• Dozens by the old St. Joseph’s Hospital parking lot.

• Countless healthy mature trees removed in the inner core streets of Peterborough and along the pathways.

And, of course, there is are Peterborough Utilities and Hydro One which get more aggressive annually in their mutilation of our canopy, both in the city and in the county. The Rotary Trail to Trent University has been greatly hacked away. Baseline Road from County Road 21 to Keene Road is in an example in the county where the landscape has greatly altered, to the point of making it ugly, from the view from the road.

As a walker and cyclist who loves tress greatly, both for their beauty and the many beings it gives life and home to, these cuttings and mutilations have been difficult to see as I roam about town.

The city has recently passed a bylaw stating that if trees are taken away, they must be replaced, from one up to three, depending on the size of the trunk. Will this be applied?

Between the parking lots at Bonaccord Street many were Manitoba maples. Will the city ignore them as a tree, therefore greatly reducing the number of trees to be replaced, hence greatly reducing the tree canopy?

Regardless, the wonderful cedar-lined Pioneer Road, which would have been home to all sorts of creatures, will never be replaced. Placing a stick every 10 metres, which will take 25 years to make any  impact, will not replace the treasure that was there.

The City of Peterborough has had its beauty greatly reduced over the last year with this massive tree-killing program. Perhaps that is why they choose to rebrand the city’s logo from “It’s a natural”?

Larry Tyldsley