Written by Jenn Gunn on Oct 12, 2017 in - No Comments

For more than a year, the Trustees have been discussing the pear trees located along the Cedar Avenue side of our church building.  These five trees, while beautiful, have created ongoing problems for our building’s integrity, especially during the autumn and winter seasons.  They do not shed their leaves until very late in the fall, or more often, in early winter.  Their leaves clog our gutters and freeze into solid and immoveable masses.  Cleaning our gutters on a regular basis helps, but that cannot be done safely once we start experiencing snow and sleet.  The cleaning process requires the use of special lift equipment and is much more complicated than just climbing up a ladder, as would be the case for a typical homeowner.

In spite of our best efforts, leaf accumulation from the pear trees remains an ongoing problem, and we have decided that their removal is in our best interest for maintaining the integrity of the northern portions of our building.  For example, we now face an expense of thousands of dollars in order to repair part of our wonderful pipe organ. Over the past winter, a leaf dam in a downspout caused melting snow and rainwater to back up and overflow into the organ chamber, thus ruining part of the instrument.  In addition, the trees’ fruit covers our sidewalk and makes it very slippery, even without the addition of winter hazards.

The Trustees have developed a comprehensive plan that will address all aspects of our drainage problems, and we are working with the City of Saint Charles to explore the most cost-effective ways to proceed.  Part of the plan will include an update of the landscaping along the Cedar Avenue side of the building, in recognition of its importance in presenting our sense of place to our members, as well as to visitors and the community at large.  This has been a difficult process and decision for our committee.  We hope that our members will understand that we have tried to do our best to approach our task in a prayerful way that respects the attachment that many of us feel for these trees, as well the need to ensure that our building remains a viable structure for many generations of our ministry to come.

-Chuck Freiberger, Chair of Trustees

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