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Allston-Brighton Residents Outraged After 200-Year-Old Beech Tree Chopped Down By Developer

BOSTON (CBS) -- Allston-Brighton residents are furious that a landmark tree they adored was chopped down without their knowledge.

"The cutters came in and attacked the most significant tree on this whole site. This is a huge loss for our neighborhood," Boston city councilor Liz Breadon said.

They are talking about a 200-year-old beech tree that stood tall and proud on Washington Street in Brighton. All that is left now is a giant stump.

"I have not slept in three days. If I were here Monday, I probably would've been arrested," resident Steve Achcraft said.

Early Monday morning, the tree was chopped down to make way for new housing. Neighbor Annette Kaplan snapped photos as the tree came down.

"By the time I came out, they had already taken out a huge section of the tree," Kaplan said.

Davos Construction, which owns the land and bought the private property off the Archdiocese of Boston, also cut down several other trees to make way for more housing.

The company released a statement Saturday saying, "I deeply regret that anger and harsh words have been exchanged in the last few days in the neighborhood, almost exclusively regarding the beech tree. My team researched the status of trees on our property. We explored alternatives in every way to retain the beech tree and still build housing on the property. We were unable to find a way."

Achcraft said he grew up taking care of the tree.

"If we had dry summers, I would drag hoses out and set up irrigation systems. I pruned the tree and it was a healthy tree."

A rally Saturday drew more than 100 residents who say this is a call to action.

Breadon said the city of Boston is in the process of updating the tree ordinance to try and put more protection in place for the trees.

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