Tensions rise during meeting to discuss Live oak tree in Long Beach

Tensions continued to rise as residents attend the Long Beach aldermen meeting to fight for a 200-year-old oak tree.

The residents in favor of keeping the tree in place had the opportunity to discuss their concern with the potential removal.

One of the causes supporters, Lucius Marks III, spoke and offered to meet with the hotel projects team and hopefully come to an agreement on the 12,000 square foot hotel’s location that can save the tree.

Property Owner Sarah Renken took the stand next and states that she attempted to find another route to keep the tree in its location, but it’s ultimately not possible and that she would plant a new oak in place somewhere else or have the current tree replanted.

However, residents for keeping the tree say that a young tree is not enough to replace a 200-year-old oak and that replanting it will most likely lead to its death. “I think just from the number of people that have signed the petition and the number of people that showed out here tonight, it’s obvious that people care about this and the aldermen need to listen to their citizens.”

Long Beach resident Malayna Cruz said, “There’s a big global clock in New York that says six years on it for climate change and us cutting down a 200-year-old tree really doesn’t support that.”

While tensions continue to rise, some residents understand the arguments of both sides in keeping Long Beach’s looks and economy on the rise. Long Beach resident Michael McGill said, “We work towards trying to find, you know, a middle ground between the two so that we can keep the hotel, keep the city the way it is with the trees on Jeff Davis, but sometimes we have to make a hard choice.”

Residents in charge of the petition to keep the tree say that they will continue to gather signatures which they say they now have around 2,000 signatures.

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