I read with disgust the story about Seaford losing its old-growth trees in favor of unbroken sidewalks ["Sidewalk fix spells doom for old trees," News, Aug. 12]. The same thing happened in my neighborhood, but in the end we were given the choice to keep our trees, thanks to a petition started by a concerned, aesthetic-minded neighbor.
We opted to keep the beautiful, majestic tree in front of our house. Every time I look up at it from my backyard I get a sense of peace, serenity, and the beauty of nature. Sadly, some of our neighbors didn't feel the same way, and there is a barren moonscape there.
It's deplorable that these residents were not given a choice to keep their trees. This is their home, and they deserve to be able to keep it looking attractive. Sidewalks are hardly ever used.
If eliminating the pedestrian path is not an option, then lay down asphalt instead of concrete and route it around the tree roots. Trees absorb pollutants, maintain soil integrity, shade cyclists and pedestrians, and keep grass from drying out.
Nancy Feldman, Commack
The recent Nassau County Department of Public Works capital improvement project along Seaman's Neck Road in Seaford sheds light on a very difficult decision every municipality must make when acting in the best interest of the community.
Nassau County government believes that trees are a vital part of the local landscape and, therefore, plants hundreds of new trees each year. Unfortunately, the department on many occasions must remove trees to rehabilitate county roads and their associated rights of way to make them safe for the traveling public.
Sadly, roots cannot be simply cut as the tree will either die, or be weakened and become potentially dangerous.
In each case, Nassau County makes every attempt to avoid tree removal, and replants trees when removal is necessary. When choosing new trees, our arborists ensure a type of tree is planted that will not damage sidewalks or roadways in the future.
Our goal is to ensure safety while maintaining our suburban quality of life.
Shila Shah-Gavnoudias, Westbury
Editor's note: The writer is the Nassau County commissioner of public works.