Some N. Plum St. residents are unhappy about plans to remove trees for street reconstruction

 North Plum St., east side  North Plum St., east side  North Plum St., east side

  North Plum St., west side  North Plum St., west side  North Plum St., west side
I was alerted by some North Plum St. residents that they’re unhappy with the City of Northfield’s plan to cut down some of the big trees on their street, part of the Linden St N/Plum St N/2nd St W street reconstruction project that’s about to begin.  I took the above photos this morning.

There are a number of variables to consider, of course, when trying to decide about saving trees during street reconstruction, e.g., street width, boulevard width, sidewalks on both sides or not, condition of/types of/size of trees, which side of the street the gas/sewer lines will go, and probably several more.

Elm St. between 4th and 5th  Elm St. between 4th and 5th
In the past, the City has sometimes accommodated residents’ concerns about big trees.  For example, the sidewalk was routed around two big trees on Elm St. between 4th and 5th a few years ago, as the above photos show.

Looking at the Project Process page, the City had 3 neighborhood meetings last fall. "Neighborhood Tour & Individual Property Owner Meetings" are scheduled for April/May.

It’s not clear to me to what extent residents have participated in these meetings and voiced their objections, nor what the city engineering staff’s response has been.

Maybe discussion here can help.

Update 5/14 9:30 am:

tree at 309 N. Linden st.  tree at 309 N. Linden st.  trees at 315 N. Linden st.  trees at 315 N. Linden st.
Here are photos of two homes on the west side of N. Linden St., (309 and 315) before and after the big (maple?) trees were cut down this week. If you are looking for a moving company that includes all packing supplies for free with every move, visit for more info.

Update 5/20 7:30 am:

Here’s a one-minute video of the trees of N. Plum St. (pre-reconstruction) heading north between St. Olaf Ave. and Greenvale Ave. My apologies for the shakiness. I was holding the camera with one hand while driving.

78 thoughts on “Some N. Plum St. residents are unhappy about plans to remove trees for street reconstruction”

  1. Our trees…gone but not forgotten!
    Please join us tonight, Thursday, at 6pm on Plum Street to honor and thank our trees. Walk our street in a moment of silence and stand tall with us as we take the time to say good bye and thank you for years and years of beauty!

    Advice from a Tree
    By Ilan Shamir

    Dear Friend,

    Stand Tall and Proud
    Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
    Reflect the light of a greater source
    Think long term
    Go out on a limb
    Remember your place among all living beings
    Embrace with joy the changing seasons
    For each yields its own abundance
    The Energy and Birth of Spring
    The Growth and Contentment of Summer
    The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
    The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter

    Feel the wind and the sun
    And delight in their presence
    Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
    And the mystery of the stars at night.
    Seek nourishment from the good things in life
    Simple pleasures
    Earth, fresh air, light

    Be content with your natural beauty
    Drink plenty of water
    Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
    Be flexible
    Remember your roots

    Enjoy the view!

  2. Angie, and my other neighbors a couple blocks north of me on Plum street~, I feel for you. Truly, I feel bad for all of Northfield as this is a loss that affects us all.

    For a city council, elected to RePrEsEnT the residents of this fair town, to cause such a devasting blight without regard to the very voters that elected them and their desires, is outrageous behavior and should never be allowed to be repeated.

    Now that we’ve seen exactly how much this council and Mayor disregards the true interests of their constituents I hope SoMeOnE, several SoMeOneS, will step up and run against them all in their next elections. People with something that’s been lacking in those who are now in office:
    And a thorough understanding of the word “Represent”.

    If such were to happen, I think they would win by a landslide.
    No one, absolutely no one, should ever cause those things to happen, as have been at the hands of this council and the one that sat before the last elections, without consequences at least as emotionally dire as the people who suffered as a result of those actions.
    From trees to skateboard parks to interpreters and more, our representatives have done exactly the opposite of what their service to us called for.

    It’s up to us now, to execute a different direction, via elections.

  3. Nfld News: Gehler leaves for Prior Lake

    This week’s resignation of city Public Works Director Katy Gehler comes just as Northfield begins working on its 2012 budget and is in the midst of several high profile projects, including construction of a new Safety Center…

    Replacing Gehler could take three to four months, said Northfield Administrator Tim Madigan. It’s likely he’ll hire a recruiting firm to help with the search due to the specialized nature of the position.

    Northfield’s public works director also serves as the city’s engineer, which requires a civil engineering license. Madigan said he’ll also look for someone who has excellent technical and communications, areas in which he grades Gehler highly.


  4. Sat. Nfld News: Council considers streets policy change

    In a presentation to the council Tuesday, [Betsey] Buckheit talked about how streets designed for all users don’t focus solely on quickly moving cars from place to place, but consider pedestrians and cyclists as well as nearby trees and storm water drainage.

    The discussion came to the forefront after two recent local street projects drew criticism from residents. On Plum Street, residents were unhappy that large trees were being felled so the road could be widened. And while some councilors disagreed with the reconstruction plan, they voted for the project after realizing a redesign at that stage would be cost-prohibitive. It was then that councilors asked to review city policies on streets, trees and rights-of-way.

Leave a Reply to Griff Wigley Cancel reply