Letter to the Editor


Monday, March 3, 2008

Dear Editor,

I can't believe the arm-chair quarterbacking going on over the trees in Norris Park. Mr. Frasier is right, maybe a lot of citizens do need a botany lesson, especially the ones who think these trees are fine.

Let me say first, as a life - long resident of McCook ... I love Norris Park, I love those stately trees, and I love spending time there with my kids. I hate to see those trees go as much or more than the next person. You're all right too, it won't be the same, at least not for a long time.

I won't get to spend time with my young children under the shade of an 80-100 year old Hackberry ever again. When we go there this summer it will HOT. Everything in that park will be hot. Hot Summer Nights will be very hot.

Let me also say that my wife was in a booth at Heritage Days last year and was near the corner where the big branch fell. If it would have fell on her it could have easily killed her or anyone. I can also tell you that it was a fresh break, there were no branches THAT large hanging around waiting to fall from the ice storm the year prior.

Now, as a science-leaning individual as myself, an agronomist, I can tell you right now; trees don't last forever. These are not Sequoia trees either, those don't even last forever. It was just a matter of time before they were done.

The average lifespan for these trees is about 100-150 years, and some of them could maybe go another 10-15 years before the decay completely destroys them. I can't recall exactly how old these tree in Norris Park are, but I'll bet they're old enough to be replaced. If you don't believe it go down to the park and look at the rot inside these trunks. Some of it was higher up in the trunks and cannot be seen in the lower stump, but it was there.

I also know a few general rules of nature from my studies, like a fast growing tree isn't going to be the best tree for our parks future. It's a bummer, yeah, but it makes perfect sense.

We need to think about the future at this point, our children and grandchildren's future hometown. A fast fix will only show our ignorance and stupidity to those outside our community. If we're going to do it let's do it right.

So in closing I agree with with the people that don't want to cut the trees down heartily, but let's get real people, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

It's a tough decision, but life is full of tough decisions and usually the hard decision is the right one.

So kudos to the city council for making a hard decision that they knew would draw the fire from the arm-chair quarterbacks.

Justin Harris,


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  • It's not like these people didn't have an opportunity to voice their opinions. I agree, we're going to miss the tress, but in time they will grow back. Let's think of the positive instead of all of the negative. New trees will ripen for our children and grandchildren after us. During this time, we need to celebrate the life these trees did have and we must make sacrifices. Thank you Justin for your words.

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Mon, Mar 3, 2008, at 3:39 PM
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