Maplewood city removes large trees to make way for sidewalk resident says

Large trees were taken down on Maple Avenue in Maplewood Thursday to make way for sidewalks, a resident reported.

The resident said the city cut down several “old growth trees” on Maple Avenue rather than find a way to route sidewalks around them. Also that residents were given no say and are extremely upset.

In addition, resident said, the city contracted Gateway Tree Care, and one of their employees “is working in front of my house right now with a swastika tattoo on his arm. I feel this reflects poorly on the company and the city.”

The resident added that there have been issues in the past with MO American Water contractors and offensive slogans on their personal vehicles parked on the street.

Google photos, April 2019

28 thoughts on “Maplewood city removes large trees to make way for sidewalk resident says

  1. One persons Swastika is anothers statue, face piercing, flag, religion, fraternal organization, sexual preference. Let freedom ring.

  2. I will never understand people. As of this writing there are 24 comments in this thread about Maplewood cutting down trees in the “tree lawn” section of the city’s easement. The majority of which are / were nice, living trees. That’s why they were taken down they “may ” expand and disrupt the sidewalks.
    But the 24 comments 65% of them are about a guy cutting the trees down with a swastika tattoo. While displays such as this is quite abhorrent to just about any living person, it never amazes me how people can be so easily led away from the focused topic, and go off on a tangent about something they have no say or control over. (“I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”) Evelyn Beatrice Hall in “The Biography of Voltaire”
    Please,people remain focused on the larger goal of preserving some treasures in our neighborhoods, ( I, for one use some old trees to ID houses and locations in old photos).
    For if you’re that easily distracted , then the hate mongers and those who would try and further their agenda have won!

    • Your comment is about the Swastika to. Anyway, taking someone’s freedom of speech away would mean imprisoning him. If this guy wants everybody to know that he’s part of a master race and he wants to put kids into ovens, then we shouldn’t be paying him to do lawn care with public money. Maybe you’d be fine with somebody getting paid to stand in the street and pledge allegiance to Isis or whatever, but I kind of doubt it.

  3. I AGREE HIS TATTOO IS OFFENSIVE. People make great big stupid decisions, some men and women like to posture, to have their peers think they are something tougher than they are, even fish and animals do it, I’m too big to eat (puffer fish) I’m the bigger dog (hackles up). I have often found the bully is the biggest coward. I work with the public and I try to remain calm when someone is offensive, I find that their tattoo or shirt really doesn’t tell you much about them. I had a guy once who looked like a bad biker, with naked tattoos and offensive language all over him, he turned out to be very different than the person he looked to be. An 18 year old who gets a stupid tattoo still has to wear it at 30. Why would someone get that tattoo? I’ve seen it on a number of people, and I don’t understand, maybe some tattoo artists could enlighten us. His boss should address it when he is aware of it. I’m sure he knows now with all this interest.

  4. Just glad he didn’t have a confederate flag tattoo – now that would be highly offensive…

  5. The trees being cut don’t look like old growth, larger than a new planting but not centennials, we had soft maples we loved all the shade, they were much bigger than these trees. We changed our mind when we had a large branch break off and nearly kill our dog. Roots that followed our sewer line costing repair bills. It was sad but they had to go. You have such nice yards, plant the type of tree you want there. Shade your house with your choice of tree on your own property. The city is not capable of making every citizen happy with serving the community.
    As for mr. tatoo, people make stupid choices, and tatoos last a lot longer than the drunk night you decided to do that to your future. He should cover it, but most people don’t, they feel its their right to express themselves, and really isn’t that what we are all doing?

    • What is it that he’s expressing? Nazis murder men women and children for being Jewish, for having disabilities, for being gay, you name it. Can’t really stop him from expressing his hatred, but as a taxpayer, I sure don’t want to pay him to express it. And I don’t want to pay a company that’s ok with it either. This guy right to be a pariah, and this company ought to be ashamed.

      When I was growing up, people considered Bart Simpson to be offensive, OK? This is something different. This guy wants blood. You’re free to get whatever tattoo you want, but we should not be hiring him for anything.

  6. The video shown is of a tree that is in the right of way or what ever term is used by most cities. That area is usually controlled by the city as to what you can do with it, what trees can be planted or cut down. As far as I know the homeowner does not really have a say in that strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk.

    As for the guy with the tattoo that would be something that you need to probably address to both the tree company as well as the city. Many companies do not allow things like shirts or tattoo with “offensive” messages. The issue becomes what some consider “offensive” To the non drinker or former alcoholic beer signage might be offensive. Nazi insignia should be offensive to everyone and the company should ask the person to keep it covered. However I doubt that in the bidding process there is any mention of how the winning bid employees should dress or what kind of tattoos they have.

    • Mark is right, the city owns the property to the back of the sidewalk and in most cases a little bit beyond that. Judging by the two pictures toward the bottom you can see how the sidewalk has heaved up, most likely the tree roots are the cause. It leaves a tripping hazard and makes it much more difficult for impaired (people with walkers, canes, wheelchairs, etc) pedestrians to navigate.

      • Todd, I thought that was the way it is with the city owning or having a right to it. The other thing on tree removal is that some trees that have been planted have turned out to be not such good trees. Look at the Bradord Pear trees. Nice size and shape, lots of flowers in the spring, full of leaves. Also a very brittle tree that has limbs break off quite often in storms. Another is the sycomore tree. Great looking splotched bark but drops the little balls, grows huge and drops limbs year round. And some trees just have a life span. You leave them too long and they become a danger from dying just like they do in the woods only here you have cars and houses and people that know that a tree can cause damage.

        • Gumball trees fall into that category too. I think they were planted so much because they grow fast and don’t need a lot of care and proved nice shade in the summer time. The leaves turn nice colors in the fall too. The downside is the darn gumballs that get everywhere and create their own hazard.

        • Please don’t let them plant Bradford Pear trees! These have just been identified as an “invasive species”..Richmond Heights uses native species like Redbud, Hawthorne, and gives you a choice. The term we use in Richmond Heights is “green lawn” for that area between the sidewalk and the street.

    • Agree with Mark, the company cannot strip search an employee for “offensive” tattoos. Plus, by today’s standards everything is offensive to someone, Confederate statues, Star Spangled Banner, American flag, free speech (if it differs from their views), any government party (if it’s not theirs), right to work, unions, anyone who disagrees with them on any subject, being forced to speak English, the Washington Redskins, St. Louis being named after a Catholic saint, religion (pick one), Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, lack of free housing, lack of free food, taxes to pay for all this free stuff, the military, the police, Fox news, CNN news, conservatives offend liberals, liberals offend conservatives, LGBTQXYZ…offends them, NRA, ACLU, straight white males, gay blacks, eating meat, cigarettes. Good Lord in today’s America somebody is offended by something. Pretty soon you won’t be able to stand next to someone and breath without offending them. Oh wait a minute, we’re there aren’t we?

        • It’s offensive when someone wears an insignia that represents a group that espouses hatred and discrimination and oppression toward any group of humans. And Nazis definitely fulfill that definition. Maybe people are just being more vocal about being offended because they’re finally being heard, and the offenders are finally being challenged. America is a diverse place.

          • Unfortunately our country has become what we all don’t want it to be and most of us are complicit. A simple, singular example is in the news daily, liberals hate and discriminate against conservatives. Conservative hate and discriminate against liberals, particularly in DC. We have no compasion for anyone that doesn’t agree with us. I watch Fox and CNN and split the difference, both are fanatically biased. Still, dyed in the wool liberals watch CNN and swear it’s the absolute truth but will never look at alternate facts. Dyed in the wool conservatives watch Fox and swear it’s the absolute truth but will never look at alternate facts. “Anybody that doesn’t agree with me is a Nazi or commie and has no right to thier opinion” is the attitude.

            • I think we can all agree that someone who tattoos a Swastika onto himself actually is a Nazi, and he wants us all to know it.

      • Pretty spot on assessment. Lose lose society. Also, the people in the photos had long sleeves on. Was the Swastika on their forehead or was this some creative embellishment to stir. Not that people do that or anything.

  7. The City’s Public Works Department has proven time and time again to disregard the wishes of residents who prioritize healthy, livable streetscapes lined with trees that benefit our community. Public Works repeatedly contracts with irresponsible “tree care” companies, who time and time again prove to be untrained and irresponsible with our community’s assets, because they are low-bid providers without any oversight or quality control provided by the City. This is despite a plethora of lessons learned surrounding these wasteful, unskilled, destructive companies. This is unacceptable and everyone should be writing to their council members to protest these actions. This is MAPLEWOOD for crying out loud. M-A-P-L-E.

    And in case you are wondering about why our roads and sidewalks look like mismatched jig-saw puzzles of every type of concrete (since we are on the subject of destructive contractors), it is because other low-bid concrete contractors are also winning those bids without ANY design oversight from the City. Why are we paying boat loads of money for a final product that looks like a cheap band-aid? I guarantee that the new sidewalks built where those trees were removed will look exactly like what is being built everywhere else in the city- sudden slabs of blinding white concrete that scream “WE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER!”

  8. The city needs to never do business with this company again. Got our public money being paid to a Nazi to parade his Swastika in a neighborhood full of kids, this is not ok.

  9. There are new rubber type sidewalks made for the purpose of reducing tree roots pushing up slabs. B-wood put in a few sections about a year ago. They seem nice so far. Just an idea to bring up to your Maplewood officials for next time.

  10. What’s being done now about this??? Is this still happening??? If the residents have had no say and even the mayor of Maplwood previously held a meeting over the removal of older trees in Maplewood, why are these things continuing? How many trees are being removed? If the mayor wants Maplewood to grow and more people to call Maplewood their home, why are we removing historic growth that makes our neighborhoods look appealing? I don’t know about anyone else but this is fustrating, especially during a time like this when the city seemed to go almost behind the backs of residents during a lock-down to remove trees that must have brought joy to a lot of people.