On the one hand, it's a shame to see mature trees coming down, on the other hand trees --even wild trees-- have a life-span, and out of the forests, where trees are interacting with people, this lifespan is circumscribed, with the usual trade-off of protection and nurturing for lifespan reduction. When they become dangerous, inconvenient, or just too big, down they come. At the same time, there's been a lot of replanting. One of my worries about the new design was that, though it incorporated seven trees to replace the four felled, it's slap-bang in Oxford's booze zone and any saplings would be liable to getting snapped off by drunks. (Has anyone ever done that? Can anyone tell me why people do that?)
But checking with the plan, they're replacing with semi-mature (10-12 metres) trees, which should solve that problem. False Acacias, as it turns out.
I've planted trees and cut them down, fed wood-burners with logs through the winter, cleared and planted copses, and helped fell trees that are hundreds of years old, in the village, where mature ash trees were something of a menace. Trees are gardened in Britain, especially in cities, and part of gardening is clearing mature and unwanted plants to make way for new growth.
But still my thoughts run back to the beautiful yew tree at the bottom of my garden on Belvedere Road, felled by a neighbour who wanted more light. It wasn't old, for a yew tree -- probably not much more than 100 years. I was in a rage but there was nothing I could do, it wasn't my tree.
But I guess from the tree's perspective it had had time to get off a whole bunch of berries by the time it came down.