Smith Promises No More Trees Will be Cut Down

This tree was cut down last week for pedestrian safety, according to Human Services Deputy Commissioner Moleto Smith. St. John Tradewinds News Photo by Eliza Magro

Following the recent removal of another tree in Cruz Bay, St. John Administrator Leona Smith has promised that no more of Love City’s mature trees will be cut down.

A mature tree believed to be a male genip, which was growing in front of the Head Start building in Cruz Bay, was cut down because it was obstructing the sidewalk, explained Department of Human Services Deputy Commissioner Moleto Smith.

“The tree consumed the whole sidewalk,” said Moleto Smith. “Anytime children needed to go down the sidewalk, they would go into the street. It’s a hazard from every level of regulations you could find.”

Human Services tried to save the tree, but in the end, the tree had to come down, explained Moleto Smith.

“We tried our best not to have to remove the tree, but since the base of it took up the entire sidewalk, that was the only thing left to do,” he said.

The tree’s stump remained last week due to the possibility of Tropical Storm Dean passing through the territory.

“We are going to have to try and destump it, or at least mitigate it, but there is a storm threat and our attention has been swayed,” said Moleto Smith. “Once it passes, we will go back and try to mitigate any hazards for pedestrians.”

Tree trimming will continue in an effort to clear visibility for security cameras in Cruz Bay, according to Leona Smith.

“The only thing we’ll see going forward is the trimming of trees so the cameras can have access,” she said. “Most of the trees around town need to be trimmed because they’re blocking the cameras, but no other trees will be cut down. I can assure you that.”