The removal of the trees has changed more things than I would have thought. So first, let me start with some of the facts.
There were thirty-four trees and their root system was costing me thousands of dollars. Each time the washrooms were out of order, it was because the debris from the trees had blocked the pipes. The latest incident was that the roots had destroyed one of the pipes and was leaking into the ground. Where the pipe broke was underneath the foundation of the building. The trees are actually on the property belonging to the church. I wrote a letter to the church council asking them to remove the trees and outlined the cost and damage that was occurring. The result was that all thirty-four trees were cut down, chipped or hauled away, and the stumps will be ground down. The root system will eventually die and no longer impact the sewer system for the building. And for that, I am very grateful.
What surprised me though was how sad I was to actually see those trees come down. It was much more emotional for me than I would have thought. I think the PMIH staff would probably all agree about the emotional aspect as well, and I know that seeing those old boys down on the ground touched many of the patients who had appointments on those days. The trees provided shade and coolness in the summer, offered privacy, a home for raccoons and squirrels (which in turn provided some fun moments for Newman, our resident Jack Russell), and most importantly, a vital part in keeping our environment and air cleaner. I was also somewhat surprised at how esthetically unappealing that side of the building was without those trees! While I don’t regret that they’ve been removed, I am very aware of how much sadness I also felt and the wonderful benefits those monster cypress trees provided.
We are currently looking at ways to help off set the environmental impact that the removal of the trees will cause, as well as all the machinery that was required to aid in the clean up. Our intention if to find an organization that we can contribute to that will plant 34 trees (and maybe a few more) in the name of the Saint Andrews Church and PMIH. We will update our web site with this information once we have this finalized.
In the meantime, I would like to thank those thirty-four old guys for all the work that they did over the years. I have kept a couple of pieces to keep their spirit with us all. And I would like to thank all of you who come through the doors at PMIH for your care and concern about our environment (the global one and PMIH).
Dr. Michael McCann