LETTERS: Trees felled

The story in the Dec. 27 paper arrested my attention. It was about Mr. Eugene Fernandez’s efforts to replace two Montezuma cypress trees “pruned” by a Texas Department of Transportation grounds crew. If this is an example of “pruning,” then the guillotine can replace barbershops! I was struck by the matter-of-fact ineptitude of TxDOT in this drama and can only hope that in the future it sticks to its past, meaning building and repairing roads. Caring for vegetation is all too painfully, obviously, not their metier.

Heartfelt kudos to Mr. Fernandez and company for already coming up with a solution, that is, “adopting” 12 Montezuma cypress trees from a nursery in Harlingen and placing them about town. Also, hope is held out for the two brutalized 100-yearold trees, though they are so mutilated that prospects for their recovery seem overly optimistic.

Amazed as I am by the careless and sometimes feckless treatment of trees around this town, I am heartened by examples of builders going way our of their way to spare verdure. At the top of Abrahamson Drive right now, a big house is being built next to the resaca and the builder and construction crew have been lovingly solicitous of two trees in front that would have been very easy to just chop down. Two artistically dwarfed and sun-tortured mesquite trees on Chet Circle were also preserved by the builder of a small house there. But the buyer lopped them both down and left the stumps! Fifteen years later, the stumps are still there in the front yard, looking sad.

Why? The trees were beautiful.

Another homebuyer on St. Michael Street found a house with a huge old mesquite tree and bougainvillea hedges of great beauty, and took a deal of effort to hack them out and leave weeds.

This kind of thinking drives me nuts! Mesquites take forever to grow, and provide shade, loveliness, flowers, food and shelter for birds. This was a big old tree that looked several hundred years old, and probably was.

Across the resaca from Rio del Sol the landowner every few years gets a backhoe and ploughs down the palm, mesquite, ebony and other trees that have gotten a promising start along the resaca banks. This is done to make the lakefront banks properly barren and ugly, and also to fill the resaca with silt whenever it rains. Good job, landowner.

Whoever plants a tree or nurtures a tree in this world deserves a reward. And gets one, in the blessings of the tree itself. Bring them on!

Kaaren French Brownsville