20.5" White Oak in front of 666 South East Street (yellow caution tape around it)
The Planning Board voted 4-3 in favor of removing a 20.5" healthy white oak at the crest of a hill on scenic South East Street last night.
But since Tree Warden Alan Snow disagreed with them, as did a single resident of the town who did so in writing, the controversy now goes to the Amherst Select Board, keepers of the public way.
Alan Snow, Tree Warden; Christine Brestrup, Senior Planner
At their most recent meeting Monday night, at the urging of Mr. Snow, the Select Board officially declared April "Arbor Month."
Scenic Roads Public Hearing explanation
Unlike two and a half years ago this time the town is the petitioner to remove the tree, more specifically the DPW. And yes Alan Snow is the DPW Director of Trees and Grounds, but his separate role as Tree Warden is a higher calling.
Planning Board (still shy two members)
Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek told the Planning Board the removal of the tree would increase sight lines and improve safety ... a relatively "easy fix."
But some members of the Planning Board thought that could contribute to an increase in speeding, a factor everyone seemed to agree was a problem on that road.
In response to residents concerns over the past few years the town has installed new signs, increased police traffic enforcement, and trimmed trees along the roadway.
Sign at bottom of hill
Mr. Snow, however, reaffirmed the line he had drawn: "Pruning is one thing, but removal has to be taken seriously."
And in Amherst, it certainly is.