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Timber!

   We may love our trees, but some trees just aren't worth saving.

   That's the position of Amherst Highway Superintendent Robert Anderson, who said he's received quite an education on trees since the October storm. He said arborists have told him that trees have a natural life span, and if a tree is severely damaged toward the end of that time period, chances are high they will never recover.

   They may die slowly, over a period of years, requiring intensive monitoring and pruning. But ultimately, the tree loses its beauty, dies, and must be cut down at great cost to the town, he said.

   Some Amherst residents have loudly complained that Anderson has ordered his crews to tag up to 2,000 damaged trees over the past couple of weeks for removal because of FEMA aid. They say older trees should be given more of a chance to recover.

   Anderson responded that in many cases, residents would be better off with a new tree that can start the growth process afresh than with an old, damaged tree that will simply wither over time.

   With whom do you agree?

  --- Sandra Tan

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