It was heart-rending. In less time than it took to plant them, 18 beautiful, healthy maple trees along County B were butchered and fed into the maw of a giant wood chipper. When asked why, the two young men from the utility company said they were “just doing their job.”

It’s hard enough to see diseased ash trees rightly removed by the thousands, but these lovely red maples were removed because their branches had just begun to brush utility lines. Could they not have been trimmed? Could utilities not bury their lines? Couldn’t property managers appreciate the years they took to grow and the enormity of their loss?

The fiery autumn red enjoyed by all who passed by is gone forever.

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The shade they provided, the habitat for birds and other wildlife disappeared into the wood chipper. A morning walk will never be the same. The children at Northwoods International School will not see the trees when they return in August.

There is a hole in the sky where the trees once stood. Did anyone else weep for the maples?

Carol Popelka, La Crosse

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