Rumson residents protest plan to chop trees

Residents of Rumson are fighting hard to save dozens of trees that are slated to be cut down to make way for a road and sidewalk project.

On Thursday, residents came home to see orange X's spray-painted on all the trees that line several roads around Center Street. Residents say they were initially told only rotted trees would be cut down. However, they say even healthy trees are now marked.

Residents were informed by letter a month ago that trees would be removed due to health or impact to construction.

Rumson resident Eric Von Arx says he is upset by the news. 

"[The trees] cool off the road, the sidewalk, the grass, the house. It cools off everything," he says. "Not just that, they're beautiful trees. What would you rather have, a chunk of concrete or a beautiful tree?"

Some of the older trees in the area have roots that are lifting off the sidewalk. Rumson officials say this is a safety concern.

Von Arx says he will fight the town. He has removed the paint from his trees and posted signs that protest the project.

"I don't want to chain myself to a tree, but if it comes down to it, I might," he says.

Borough officials have scheduled a meeting with concerned residents Monday morning.

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