My Local McDonald’s Murdered Two Trees

My Local McDonald’s Murdered Two Trees

Last week I finished reading Richard Powers’ The Overstory and it has changed my view about trees, forever. This morning, I took clothes to my dry cleaners at the corner of Belt Line Road and Cartwright in Mesquite, Texas. Actually, they’re not on the corner, a McDonald’s is. Last week, when I was dropping off clothes, I observed two guys who looked like they were determined to cut off their arms shoving in a branch into a tree mulcher. Today I returned to find that two viable, huge trees that were at least 40-50 feet tall had been cremated and cut to shreds.

McDonalds Trees

What remains of two huge trees McDonald’s MURDERED after a branch fell on a car parked in their lot.

I was in shock. The trees had full crowns of green shady leaves. When I asked the girl at the dry cleaners what had happened, she said a branch fell on a car.

I went into the McDonald’s, which I seldom do, and the checkout girl said the same thing. “It was a mess,” she said.

So instead of trimming heavier branches on the tree where the branch fell on the car, THEY CUT THE WHOLE TREE DOWN AND CUT A SECOND ONE JUST LIKE IT DOWN, too.

The Corporate Line

Now I get corporate liability and the canned answer McDonald’s will offer. if they respond at all.

“We cut the tree to ensure the safety of our customers, our first priority next to good, healthy food. The safest thing for us to do was to remove the two trees.”

That’s a lot of bunk. And it appears to be the line that’s been sold. A branch fell on a car, more could fall on other cars, we can’t have that.

The ‘Every Tree Is Entitled to One Branch Falling’ Legal Theory

I guess they were using the theory that every tree was entitled to one branch falling, like every dog is entitled to one free bite.

But these were two HEALTHY trees. Two trees with HUGE crowns, and they were healthy. In all likelihood, the one branch that feel got whipped around in a recent strong wind and fell.

Maybe McDonald’s could have done more to trim over-extended branches.

McDonald's Trees

The trunks of two trees McDonald’s MURDERED because a branch fell on a car in their lot.

But instead, my local McDonald’s murdered two trees.


What’s worse, is they clearly didn’t do anything with the actual wood from the tree except cut it up.

Pictures are included of what’s left of the trunks.

The day the men started shredding that branch, I had no idea they were going to cut the whole tree down, let alone BOTH trees. There was absolutely no visible reason for them to do so.


Now I do not regard myself a tree hugger, no not one bit, but I know waste when I see it and this was an abomination. This was a crime against nature. You want to get all uppity about what kind of beef vendors use and whether they’re using GMOs or letting the cows roam free, I don’t give a hoot about that nonsense.

But Richard Powers’ book, The Overstory, changed my view of the world of trees and made me more sensitive when a corporation like McDonald’s does a dumbass thing like cut down two viable trees. No, murders, them and wastes their resources because a branch fell on a car.

McDonald’s. This was wrong. It’s going to take years to replace what you did. YEARS. I understand the liability and minuscule payout your insurance has taken because a branch fell on a car. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t equal out to killing two healthy trees. It just does not.


This is an image of the tree line from the new County Road 510 Bridge near Marquette, Michigan.


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Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander, a selfie from camping for 13 weeks in 2022 on the Claxton family land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northwest of Marquette.

Donald J. Claxton is
‘The Timberlander’

Hello, I’m Donald J. 

I refer to myself as “The Timberlander” because I love off-grid living and woodworking.

My Great Pyrenees, Maycee, and I enjoy spending our time in the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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