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LETTER: Is it time to let the Comfort Maple 'go'?

Reader wonders whether it's finally time to acknowledge the inevitable

PelhamToday received the following letter to the editor concerning the condition of Pelham's iconic Comfort Maple, estimated to be 500-plus years old:

Having grown up on Metler Road close to North Pelham, the Comfort Maple has been a part of my childhood and my life for over 60 years. Many times a summer we would visit that magnificent tree and marvel at its size and beauty. It was always the destination for family hayrides to show visitors this giant and to see how many cousins it took to reach around its massive trunk.

We often road our bicycles to the local “Times Square” store, later the Avondale, to get a Coke and a chocolate bar and rest awhile under its shade. But the other day l had an opportunity to see the old girl and was very saddened.

In spite of a valiant effort by people in charge, the tree has deteriorated to a very sad state no longer anything near to its former glory. So here is a comment that might upset some people, but when is it time to let the old girl go?

The Comfort Maple, North Pelham. | Larry Cote/PelhamToday

North Pelham wouldn’t be the same without this landmark, but maybe it’s time. Yet good could come out of the loss of this giant.

There are two of Niagara’s best tree nurseries literally in the Comfort Maple’s shadow. If one was given the opportunity to produce offspring from this tree I’m sure there would be no shortage of Pelham residents—and Ontario residents—would proudly plant a seedling in their yard with such proud heritage.

If the wood was offered to local craftsman, can you imagine the beautiful woodworking pieces that could be made and proudly displayed in our homes. I have seen people who take the smallest piece of material and make the most amazing pens. I would be honoured to carry one in my pocket and show it off to anyone that has visited that tree.

My comments will likely upset some people, but I think it’s time to have this conversation.

Paul Vanderzanden