Taking Out the Curb Appeal Hurts Neighborhoods

Boulevard Trees in FallA few weeks ago the city of Farmington surprised residents by taking out around 66 mature trees along city boulevards as a result of their restoration project to the city sewer system. Many of the trees were forty to sixty years old and had formed the story book canopy that reaches across the road. Needless to say, those trees created a neighborhood atmosphere that people long for when buying a home, and in fact, a few residents have commented that they bought their home in Farmington because of those trees.

The city did a poor job on properly informing residents which trees would be removed, not marking them in advance as many other cities do with tree removal. So you can imagine the surprise when some folks came home from work to see their entire street void of 21 trees. I can’t tell you the financial impact a loss of this kind does to curb appeal and property values. The town just doesn’t look the same, and the hometown feel has been destroyed (at least down certain streets of Farmington).

Of course the city is saying that it had to be done. Work on the project would have taken out some of the root systems for these trees and caused some to die. But did they really have to take them ALL out because some might die? Why not see how they do after the project is complete and then take them down as need be? Sure, it’s easy to make a decision sitting behind a desk, but the people of Farmington should have been better informed. They could have held a town hall meeting and explained the situation, and possibly come up with alternative plans from the residents.

Unfortunately now the damage has been done. The city has stated that some streets will be replaced with smaller trees, but side streets, which are the back bone of beautiful neighborhoods, won’t see any new trees down their streets. Trees cannot be planted along the boulevard, so residents will have to plant trees on their own dime, and in their own yard. Needless to say, there goes the neighborhood. Many home owners cannot afford new trees, and the area will most likely never portray the picturesque canopy that once adorned the streets.

Trees and landscaping are vital to curb appeal. The City of Farmington should step up and plant new trees where every one was cut down. That’s the least they could do for the home owners who lost a vital piece of their property, and to ease the shock and anger that now resides with the city’s residents.

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