The reporting of the blatant cutting and removal of several veteran shade trees by Audrey Realty on the landmarked Klein Farm is troubling.
It is another incident where, despite the laws that exist in its various contexts to protect and preserve large shade trees in the public sphere, tree owners defy the law. This is because there are many who see no value in large, established shade trees.
But large trees and their canopies provide immense environmental, social and human health benefits and thereby have significant monetary value. Depending on health and condition, historic trees inhabiting historic properties can be valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, adding much to the overall property value unrealized by Audrey Realty.
Supporters of the farm and their legal team should make sure that full tree restitution is established and presented to the city Environmental Control Board. The slap-on-the-wrist summonses issued by the ECB are trivial to the greater monetary cost of those trees now lost to the community.