The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 15, 2012

Your View: Loss of beautiful, mature tree a crime

By Jason Zahn, Mankato

— If I were to go to Sibley Park with a chainsaw and cut down one of the beautiful trees, surely the police would be called and I would be arrested, fined and maybe even serve jail time. If workers from the city works department come at 8 a.m. and hack apart a beautiful, mature and shade-giving tree in my front yard, I am supposed to sit back and watch with complete joy and happiness as the branches fall upon my yard and perhaps a handful of them are tossed into a wood-chipper.

So why is it a crime for me to go vandalize city property, yet they are allowed to come, without permission or even notice, to ruin my yard? I'm not sure.

The city public works office seems to be a thoughtless, rude bunch of hacks who find some perverse joy in wrecking people's yards with their ruthless and indiscriminate tree slashing "policies."

The city website is inflated with festering tripe about the value that trees add to property and how the public works department works tirelessly to maintain the swathes of trees in neighborhoods.

In all honesty, the city doesn't care about trees or about the citizens who must live with their hack-and-ask-later policies. I have a stump to greet me when I come home at night, oh the joy.

And I do not wish you a "Merry Christmas" because the only "gift" you have given me is a ruined front yard and no more shade in the summer.