After watching the activity around the “Ancient Maple” on James Street for over a week now, I feel compelled to offer some thoughts.
I agree that the tree is a spectacular sight and a special work of nature, and can understand the feelings of the folks who are working to have it saved. What I do not agree with is the falsehoods and methods being used to promote their cause.
The tree is obviously past its prime, as witnessed by the rotted-out core which is large enough for an adult to be comfortable inside. To tell the passing public that an arborist has concluded that the tree is safe and sound is cause for concern. Any thinking person can look at the trunk from the sidewalk on James Street and conclude that it is an accident waiting to happen with a strong wind. The entire tree is being held together by an outer shell that is not strong enough to hold the tree together much longer.
Are the folks that are protesting its orderly removable willing to take on the financial responsibility that a lawsuit will bring when it does come down and hurts people or damages vehicles? I think not. And the fact that they have occupied the space for the past week, sleeping around the trunk, urinating when necessary and blocking the sidewalk access for everyone else is deplorable.
I hope that sensible people will admit that although the tree has been a wonderful addition to our environment, it is time to protect the public from the harm it will cause when it comes down by the will of nature.