Crews today cut down 50-year-old silver maples along Queen Anne Avenue on the campus of Medford's Roosevelt Elementary School as an audience of sad neighbors watched from the across the street. See video

Crews today cut down 50-year-old silver maples along Queen Anne Avenue on the campus of Medford's Roosevelt Elementary School as an audience of sad neighbors watched from the across the street.

Some of the branches that tumbled to the ground as crew chipped away at the big trees were hollow inside, a sign of interior decay.

"It's sad to see them go, but after seeing some are rotten inside I can see why they cut them down," said Queen Anne resident Bob Trimmer.

The Medford School District's plans to remove the trees to make way for construction of a replacement school spurred a flood of calls asking the city of Medford to save the silver maples.

But the city concurred with a district-commissioned arborist that the trees had some interior decay and were hazardous.

Queen Anne has long been distinguished by its continuous tree canopy down the avenue.

The school district plans to plant new trees along the road in 2010, after Roosevelt's new building is open.

The old building, constructed in 1911, will be demolished in August.

— Paris Achen