Wednesday, November 16, 2011
More trees to fall?
As she retreated from the podium, Town Meeting, uncharacteristically, applauded.
So as you can imagine, she responded cautiously last night as a homeowner on Rosemary Street, a bucolic subdivision in North Amherst built in the mid-to-late 1990s, made a pitch to whack all the healthy Norway Maple trees because they are an "invasive species," and replace them with a presumably tamer "native species."
Committee member Bob Erwin thought, after the recent devastation to our urban tree canopy, this idea was doubly bad: both the timing of this request and the precedent it may set. The seven member Shade Tree Committee took no position but suggested the homeowner poll his neighbors to ascertain their opinions.
The Shade Tree Committee is a sub-committee of the more powerful Conservation Commission, and either committee can make recommendations to the Tree Warden (Alan Snow) who has state authority to remove trees in the public way. Those who disagree and wish to appeal a decision of the Tree Warden can appeal to the Select Board who has final authority over the public ways.
The town could charge the homeowner $55/diameter inch to have the trees taken down (most are in the 6" to 10" range) by a private contractor, also at his expense. Or if the town likes the idea of clear cutting and replanting a new species, it could all be done at taxpayer expense.
Unless of course they ask the Lorax for an opinion.