I thank him and could not agree more with Jim Daniels’ letter to the Village News editor regarding the loss of Chester’s “Village Oak.”...

I thank him and could not agree more with Jim Daniels’ letter to the Village News editor regarding the loss of Chester’s “Village Oak.” I also applaud his and Joe Hillier’s offer to pay for a professional arborist’s evaluation of this beloved tree in a valiant effort to save it. Such a certified expert would have advised that hollow trees can and do survive, even with ants.

My wife and I proudly reside in “historic” Chester in front of this church, so it was just more of the same to us. We have witnessed the Methodist church’s developer-like approach to dealing with grand old trees for more than a decade. In turn, we see the result when they destroy these irreplaceable local treasures. For example, I add an epilogue on the magnificent tree razed on School Street that Mr. Daniels mentioned. Healthy by all appearances then and now forever gone, this tree rooted and grew for decades or more on what is now the entrance to the church’s parking lot, built after this giant was removed. I am hearing Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” in my head while knowing that these two events on the same spot were NOT a coincidence!

Every time after the felling of yet another beautiful tree, I am doubtful of this church’s rationalizations for destroying these old friends. Offering shade, aesthetics and their vital breath for a century and more, the destruction of their unique beauty took less than a day in each case, but their loss is forever.

My wife and I practice what I preach. as we recently engaged a professional arborist to examine and provide perennial treatment and advice for limbing for our three century-plus-old oaks. In our opinion, they, along with the other very mature neighborhood trees. deserve to live on for everyone’s enjoyment.

Our voice and concern is – and must now be and will become – more vigorous because this church has been methodically buying up more and more property in our unique neighborhood. We have witnessed and thus legitimately fear that this church’s penchant for tree removal for their ends will follow their sprawl and lessen the appeal of our historic Chester neighborhood.

Chris Griffin, Chester