HOUSTON -

The sound of a saw signifies the end of an era in the Highland Village neighborhood.

"It really does hurt to watch," resident Catherine Danna said.

Danna watched Thursday as crews chopped down large oak trees along a sidewalk near Weslayan and West Main streets . Some of the trees were about 100 years old. 

"I'm just heartbroken and I think it's criminal that they just come in and hack it down, and for what?" Danna said.

The "they" she refers to is a developer called Pelican Builders. They're taking down the trees to make room for 12 single-family homes.

In a statement to Local 2, Pelican Builders spokesperson Derek Darnell wrote, "We have shared with the neighbors that we have a track record of planting very large trees at our new developments."

But Danna said the new trees wouldn't be the same. 

"We're all pretty sick to see that this developer has such disregard for these trees that we're never going to see again in our lifetime," Danna said.

She and her neighbors want to make clear, they are not against development. They just wish construction could coexist with the trees they've always known. 

"It's very sad. These trees have been here since the bayous used to run along Weslayan," Jo Hawthorne said.

Now they're considering their options. 

"I don't know," Danna said. "I feel like maybe it's time to go."

Construction on the homes should start in the next three weeks. Darnell said some will be ready in spring of 2015.