What happened to the trees near Starbucks?

Editor’s Note: This open letter was sent to Ald. Hairston’s (5th) Assistant Ibrahim Okoe. Okoe responded to Telser stating that he would ask that the matter be investigated.

Dear Mr. Okoe,

I was very disheartened to see that two (2) large silver maple trees at the northwest corner of East 55th Street and South Woodlawn Avenue (adjacent to the Woodlawn Avenue elevation of the Starbucks store), have been removed, leaving only large stumps (the addresses would be roughly 5491 – 5495 S. Woodlawn Ave.).

I have no idea why this was done as the trees did not appear to me to be diseased. Perhaps this was done at the behest of Starbucks in the misguided belief that this would somehow increase their profits?

On the contrary, the absence of these trees will make their air conditioning costs higher and the store less inviting.

These trees should be replaced by new plantings.

Thank you for your consideration.

Joshua Telser