Almost a block of mature trees removed in Maplewood

The management at Maplewood Village Apartments, in the 7200 block of Anna Avenue, are removing approximately eight mature trees in front of the apartments.

Hayley Baker, property manager for the apartments, said the trees are damaging the roofs and foundations of the buildings, and that there is new landscaping planned that will include new trees and make the property more aesthetically pleasing and add to the value of the property.

Some tenants outside on Thursday said they hadn’t been told why the trees were coming down, but that they don’t like it. One said their air conditioning bill will probably be higher.

The trees before being removed. via Google Maps

21 thoughts on “Almost a block of mature trees removed in Maplewood

  1. The new owners of this property clearly have little idea what they are doing. They are among a group of people who trees as an annoyance –something to be removed to reveal the “beauty” of their brick and concrete box. However, they are private property owners, and there is no ordinance barring the removal of mature trees. Tell your aldermen that we need a tree ordinance to prevent the catastrophic, landscape-altering removal of mature trees in our city. Also, ask what company did the removal, and ask what is the deal with these companies who will do anything for money, even if it defaces a neighborhood? Why are they not required to obtain permits to perform this kind of work on public streets?

    • At the very least. Property owners should be required to demonstrate why a tree should be removed. Arborists can tell you whether a tree is sick and needs to be removed. Other cities have done this. There are models out there to follow.

  2. A lot of anguished hand wringing here.
    Based on no real information.
    Did anyone bother to ask the apartment manager why ?
    Is it possible they were diseased ?
    Will they will be replaced ?

    • Right in the article: “property manager for the apartments, said the trees are damaging the roofs and foundations of the buildings and that there is new landscaping planned that will include new trees and make the property more aesthetically pleasing and add to the value of the property”

  3. Did anyone in the city government know in advance that this was going to happen? I would hope they’d have tried their best to stop it if that was possible. Sure would hate to see this insidious practice become a trend in our town.

      • The city not know for sure or you suspect? You have contacted the city or a city councilman to see if they were informed? Should be pretty easy to see if they knew and especially if they approved and paid for the removal of the trees as some seem to suggest. It would have had to be voted on and money approved for it I am thinking.

        From the pictures it looks like the trees are between the sidewalk and the building. I think that is the homeowner’s property and they can do what they want to do with the yard, the trees, the landscaping. If the trees belong to the city it would be a different thing.

        • I heard from a reliable source that the city was not informed. And you are right, the trees are on private propery, and thus the city does not need to be informed. However, for Maplewood to be able to sell itself as a Green Dining District and adhere to its current trajectory toward sustainability and green-friendly city planning, we need an ordinance with teeth that retains our mature trees. Call or email your alderman or the mayor!

        • Hi Mark, The City did not know. I informed the Mayor, the City Manager, the Sierra Club, South 40 News (hence the article), and the Design and Review Board of Maplewood; I also provided them copies of other cities’ tree ordinances. At the time I called all these people, not one of them knew about the trees being cut down on Anna. I also talked with the person removing the trees. He said he was against it and recommended not doing it to the owner of the property. He said these were mature Red Oak trees. They were about 60 years old. They did not appear to be causing any problems or have any problems. The City of Maplewood did not approve or pay for the tree removal. Approval is not required for trees on private property. It is correct that the trees were on private property. However, many cities, especially others in the Tree City USA category (Maplewood is a longstanding Tree City USA–20 years), have ordinances to protect the community treescape/ tree canopy/tree resources. I researched several municipalities’ tree ordinances and found that they may often require property owners to communicate their plans to remove trees (and for certain categories of trees, ‘trees of value’ for example, a permit is needed and a wait-period is often in place), but property owners still have the right to remove trees. Maplewood is in need of a sensible and fair tree ordinance, in order to offer a means of communication about proposed tree removals and in order to protect our environment. Open lines of communication–established by a tree ordinance for Maplewood– could possibly sometimes provide other better, cheaper, more environmentally-friendly solutions for our neighborhood trees, rather than cutting them down .

  4. I wondered if they were harming the foundations of the buildings. They were planted too close.

  5. Not a good choice. Glad that good investigative reporting was done. Keep telling our stories. We desperately need you.

  6. IMO the construction of so many apartment complexes started Maplewood down a spiral from a community of property owners to just renters and cheaply built structures. When we lived on Rannells near Laclede Stn Rd, the ones across the street nearly got blown down not long after they were built. I’m old, cranky and grew up in Maplewood and didn’t like to see it going downhill. Thankfully it has reversed the trend.

    • Dan, I do not ever remember anything but the apartments being there. I have been here almost 40 years. Do you know what was there before the apartments were there? Empty lots, little bungalow’s some sort of massive buy out to remove housing and put in the apartments?

    • In the 60s and 70s
      , apartments were seen as a great source of tax revenue because they were taxed at the same rate as commercial property (no longer the case). They served the same function as big box stores do now for cities looking for new tax revenue. Most of the apartments around town date from that time.

  7. Doug, I am so glad this was brought to your attention. The previous and present owners of this apartment complex are well-known for their disregard for tenant grievances over their quality of life issues (especially when redress may hurt their monthly balance sheet). The wholesale assault on these sixty-year-old trees was unwarranted and flies in the face of our Maplewood values. The future of this planet ought to be green, (not the greedy greenback dollar). I believe in the sanctity of property rights, but there has to be a civic mechanism that has oversight responsibility for the commonwealth in these types of environmental issues where far-reaching impacts are ignored for the sake of short-term profits. It is beyond ironic, in a city named Maplewood where many streets are named for trees, that our arboreal resources and green-spaces are eliminated, scalped, or ignored. It is too late for the trees on Anna. Don’t let this assault come to your street.