Whose Woods Were These? Owner Details Rationale For Cutting Trees

By: Ed Maroney

New vistas have opened up off Main Street since a property owner cleared many trees.  ED MARONEY PHOTO

ORLEANS Appearances notwithstanding, the Academy of Performing Arts is not preparing an outdoor production of the logging musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

In fact, all the tree-clearing work so evident on Main Street near the theater has been done on a lot abutting the playhouse.

“I can tell by the way people look up to the property that there is some concern about the tree removal, but rest assured we will be replanting fruit trees and trying to re-landscape the area to be safer, more appealing and more manageable,” Richard Kendall, owner of 116 Main St., wrote in reply to an email query from The Cape Cod Chronicle.

When Kendall bought the property in 2016, Eversource took down some trees that threatened power lines, but others remained. He talked things over with a neighbor who told him his insurance company had considered canceling his policy due to the presence of large locust trees. Add in the recent winter storms and Kendall decided “that cutting as many threatening, English ivy ridden unhealthy and ugly trees would be best for everyone.”

According to Kendall, some trees near his neighbor's line “came down without even cutting, just a pull with a rope was enough to disintegrate it.” He admitted being nervous about his two young children “playing underneath these large trees...with widow makers hanging all over the place.” With plans to put a new roof on his house, Kendall wrote, nearby trees were cut so nothing would “land on this new investment.”

Kendall found that some trees closer to Main Street “needed to be cut to make way for the felling of larger unhealthy trees; otherwise they would have been maimed in the process. We were able to save the few remaining that were unharmed from cutting the unhealthier ones.”

Main Street from Academy Place to Beach Road is designated by the town as a scenic road, which affords certain protections; these did not apply as all the work was done on private property.

Kendall says his neighbors who are “chainsaw ready” are welcome to take away the locust trees for firewood and the soft maples for lumber. Anyone needing firewood can contact him at richard@chathamvalet.com.

“We hope to regain our privacy, and noise protection by re-foresting the area,” Kendall wrote, “and integrating into this to-be-historic district next to the soon-to-be renovated Academy playhouse.”