Our thanks to George Beetham Jr. for bringing this article by David O’Reilly to our attention. Following are the beginning paragraphs.
Elaine Scattergood paused on the narrow path that wound through wooded sand dunes to Avalon borough’s sweeping beachfront.
“That,” she said, pointing over a fence at a tree stump, “was my favorite. It was all by itself and could spread its branches.”
Stumps are all that remained Friday of about 220 Japanese black pines that this upscale Cape May County borough cut down last week.
Borough officials and their consultants say the trees – which the municipality planted in abundance in the 1980s – were vulnerable to damage or death from the southern pine bark beetle, a small boring insect.
But Scattergood and other residents who have battled the borough over the tree cutting say there is no evidence of the beetle in the borough.
They assert that the borough is removing the tall growing trees to improve the ocean views of some beachfront property owners.