Alachua residents concerned about loss of trees


Trees heavy with Spanish moss, making a canopy on a quiet country road, are part of a landscape that is beloved by most North Central Floridians. Neighbors who live along Peggy Road in Alachua are disheartened by the destruction of hundreds of old trees that once lined their country lane, NW 138th Avenue. They are concerned that the character of the neighborhood has changed drastically with the loss of the trees. They also feel discouraged by the loss of wildlife habitats in the area. One neighbor noted seeing a bird sitting on fence looking forlorn and a woodpecker swooping overheard, clearly disoriented. Another neighbor found a lost gopher tortoise and was concerned for its safety. They are also concerned about the environmental consequences of losing so many trees, such as increased rain run-off and dust in the dry season. The neighbors feel that the trees should not have been cut down without any consultation or consideration for the area. 

A local landowner recently decided to clear the large, 50- to 100-year-old trees from his property. It is, of course, his right, as one neighbor noted. The neighbors understand that there isn’t much they can do or say to change the landowner’s mind. The destruction of the trees has already begun.

This aerial view from Google Maps shows the thick line of trees that used to line the northeastern side of NW 138th Avenue, providing a double buffer between the properties on the southwestern side of the road and Interstate I-75:

Residents in the area contacted the City of Alachua, who listened to their concerns with kindness and told them they would look into any actions that could be taken. At the time of this story, the City of Alachua had yet to respond to our request for comment. It may be too late for these lovely old trees, but the neighbors want to alert people to their plight because they believe that the loss of native Florida environments and scenery needs to be addressed. Florida’s unique beauty and wildlife need preservation, and the neighbors feel that each of us can, and should, take small actions to ensure that our area retains its distinctive character.

  • If they are cedar trees, the wood is actually worth a lot of money (thousand$ per tree).

    • If not, the friendly local biomass plant can burn them all in seconds releasing 100 years of carbon in only a few minutes with just a bad smell and a bunch of harmless smoke and heat. GRU can use free fuel for higher salaries. And after all, the city commission says: It’s RENEWABLE!!!! So therefore it’s green!!! Only 27 or so years left to pay off the plant! What a deal!

  • No reason is given for removing the trees since the cost of such an operation can run into the tens or thousands of dollars. Is there a development involved?

  • You get what you vote for. Local leadership has continued to raise taxes year after year. Farms are dying because the crops can’t keep up with the tax burden placed on the owners. Farmers are baling, pun intended, to get what they can by selling the land to developers who only have to pass the costs to potential homeowners or apartment developments. Some of you who haven’t been around may have forgotten about the sellouts who gave away the farm outside of Alachua because they got tired of paying the taxes.

    Add in the liberal nuts who didn’t care about the trees removed for their plantations and it’s not rocket science what’s going on.

    Just keep up the cheers, “Let’s go Brandon!”

    Keep believing…

  • The landowner still had to get a permit from the city of Alachua. The concerned neighbors should go take a look at the permits and see why the trees were removed. Some of the trees may have been diseased, some for agriculture but check to make sure the removal was done properly and by a licensed company.
    Someone at city hall went out and approved this removal.

    • You’re not going to like hearing this…If the zoning is agriculture, then no permit is needed. You don’t need a “licensed company” to cut trees either.
      They all looked like heritage trees. It’s a real shame
      Because it looked beautiful and made a really nice
      Scenic buffer…rest assured that Mother Nature will
      Win in the end.

  • Just like the Celebration Point destruction in the Butler Plaza expansion. They cut down tens of dozens of 200 year old live oaks. And our local feckless government let the greed mongers do it. Now we have a bloated traffic quagmire.

  • Brandon says: Trees are a renewable resource and good to go in
    That biomass plant! Brandon wants to do away with
    Fossil fuels, so what does this mean? Solar panels,
    Wind mills, and tree burning…this is what’s gonna happen if electric cars are mandated. We need fossil
    Fuels and oil pipelines….F the green new deal…

    • Schwab from the IMF said, “ the Covid-19 pandemic
      Was the perfect cover to implement the green new deal”…how do you like them gas prices? Food at the
      Grocery store is getting expensive…gone out to eat
      Lately? —-Paying people not to work and printing $ has
      Ruined the dollar and our economy…there are still
      Stupid people covering their faces with stupid masks…
      It’s all been an obfuscation to implement global totalitarianism….papers pleeeez! Covid passport and
      That shot is Mark of the beast…wise up!

  • Even oak trees that large are worth a few thousand dollars or more. Somebody probably saw the trees and made him an offer. It’s not like they’re on the endangered species list, especially around here. I do miss the good old days when the city commission was fixated on ‘greenways’ instead of building more and more Standards. The only ‘greenways’ they seem to care about nowadays are the ones with pictures of dead presidents.

  • Tree chip companies that serve the biomass plant would take them down and haul to chip at either no expense or pay for them.

    • If that was oak, those big trunks would make nice furniture…the rest would go to the biomass plant.

  • I’m shocked, shocked to learn that Chronicle readers are tree huggers.

    It’s like this.
    God created the Garden of Eden.
    God gave man domination over the plants in the Garden.
    God gave man a brain smart enough to invent the chain saw.
    Unfortunately, God did not give man enough common sense to not use the chain saw to cut down the Garden.
    This lack of common sense also explains why anyone votes for any Republican.

    • How things are but are afraid to admit…And that same God didn’t give Biden much to work with either. Common sense, intelligence, followers…he couldn’t have used a sharp rock to cut a leaf of a tree.

      By the way, who has dominion over him? Someone’s pulling the strings.

      Keep believing…

  • I found out that the city was contacted by Alachua Chronicle on Friday afternoon at 1pm. City Hall is closed on Fridays as are many city halls in our area. The codes enforcement officer has already been out to check the property and the owner had the proper permitting and trees were removed legally on his own land. Perhaps concerned neighbors can plant more trees on their own properties?

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