Hudson residents don't want development that threatens 300-year-old tree to put down roots
MONTREAL -- Hudson residents are furious over a development that threatens a tree so old that it predates Canadian confederation by over a century.
The five-storey tall oak tree sits on Leger St. and is estimated to be 300-years-old.
Phase one of the Willowbrook development includes 29 cottages that would be built near the tree. J.J. Corker, co-director of Nature Hudson, lives across the street.
“It's not just losing that tree. It's an anchor tree for the trees around it, the saplings,” he said. “There is a lot of life in that tree – birds, mammals, insects.”
Part of the area has already been cordoned off by city officials due to wetland status, but Mayor Jamie Nicholls, who lives on the same road as Corker, said the oak itself won't get the same treatment.
“The rot behind the tree predates the construction period, predates the project period. The tree was reaching the end of its natural life.”
The developer has already been fined for violating laws regarding redirecting traffic.
“As a resident of the road, I'm part of the detour route, so I feel the pain of my neighbours,” said Nicholls.
The developer, Habitations Robert, did not return calls for comment.
Corker said tree aside, the project itself is not welcome.
“It's disturbing and not just for me and this location, but for a lot of locations in and around Montreal.”
Nicholls said that while consultations have already been held and phase one has been green lit, phase two is a different matter.
“As phase two gets nearer, we need to have public consultations on that. We need to look at the environmental equilibrium there.”