Mobilization to save century-old elms in Ham-Sud

Mobilization to save elms centenarians in Ham-Sud

Protesters lament the cutting of three century-old elms at the entrance to the municipality.

Residents of Ham-Sud deplore the cutting of three elm trees which they believe to be centenarians in the wake of the paving of Route 257.

According to them, the contractor, mandated by the Municipality, could avoid proceeding in this way by narrowing a portion of the roadway near these plants which are located at the entrance to the village.

The demonstrators, met on the spot, denounce the situation. For the repair of the road, we would have liked to have options on how we could have saved the trees, laments one of them.

“These are elm trees that don't have Dutch disease. Which is rare. They represent a genetic heritage to be preserved.

— A protester

For an opponent, once the work is completed, everything would be in place for motorists to drive quickly. We are at the entrance of the village. There are plenty of children. People will drive fast. It will be asphalted, without shrinkage, without speed bumps. Trees are cut instead.

According to the protesters, the century-old trees are not affected by Dutch elm disease.

The mayor of Ham-Sud, Serge Bernier, says he understands the disappointment of these residents. However, he claims to have evaluated all possible options. According to him, a first shovel given in the roadway by the contractor confirmed the significant presence of roots; which makes these cuts a must.

It's for the safety of the world. The plans have been made for five years. We did everything to try to save the trees. We have to excavate to level the road. By touching the roots, the trees will die. I asked the contractor to try to put culverts and he is not able, he says.

The Municipality wishes to compensate for the loss of these three elms by planting other trees nearby.

The paving of the road 257 must be completed next October.

With information from Jean-François Dumas