By Sara Hamlen, a West Roxbury resident, and Mass Audubon member
Have you noticed that many of West Roxbury's oldest and tallest and grandest trees have vanished?
It's because new owners who are rehabilitating the "insides" of these remarkably beautiful early homes from the founding days of West Roxbury have been so focused on redoing their kitchens and so afraid of high winds that they are cutting down some of the oldest trees in the neighborhoods.
What a loss!
Case in point: The top of Maxfield Street at Bellevue has some of the last majestic trees planted in the early days by workers at the Arnold Arboretum, who came home with interesting seedlings.
The rich variety of trees, especially ancient beech trees, adds charm to the Bellevue Hill neighborhood.
On hot days, we are grateful for the spreading shade of a pine or beech tree - their round trunks delight small children -- so wide even a parent cannot reach all the way around. So tall only a giant would reach the top.
Alas, for a majestic pine tree on Maxfield Street, it is slated to "come down" and has been trimmed already.
No more tall pines anywhere to be seen and fewer and fewer colorful maples.
It's private property, they say, at Boston City Hall. People can do what they want with their trees.
Such a pity.
What would our ancestors, who lovingly planted apple trees, beech trees, peach trees, have to say about our reckless abandoning of these precious trees?
A ray of hope: the new neighbors at the top of Maxfield Street did all they could to stabilize their majestic tree, and they added a peach and a pear tree!