Thursday, August 04, 2011

Stop Hurting That Tree!

Our neighborhood had what has to be an only-in-Berkeley moment this week.

A city worker came out to cut down a large tree across the street. As he began the job, several neighbors approached him with concern. After all, we like our leafy street and didn't want to lose a mature tree. He said it was diseased and had to come down.

The neighbors weren't placated, so the man tried to ease everyone's conscience. He said he had studied tree biology extensively and the tree wouldn't suffer or feel any pain as it was being cut down.

Right, THAT was what we were worried about.

It makes me wonder if this is the usual complaint the guy encounters in Berkeley. Maybe I'm just a tree exploiter — ruthlessly using them for shade, fruit and oxygen — but I've never given much thought to the pain tolerance of plant life. (I guess if I had seen "The Happening," I might be concerned the tree would turn on us.)

Anyway, the tree is gone now, though I'm sure I will be haunted by its silent screams in my sleep.