Submitted by Fairhaven Tree Warden Don C. Collasius
It’s been a busy time and I thought an end of year update would be a good idea. I want people to know what we are doing and not doing. Government should be transparent and folks should know what they can expect from it.
Having just completed a six-day Tree Wardens Qualification Program hosted by the Massachusetts Tree Wardens and Foresters Association, I now know a lot more about the Tree Warden’s job and trees than before. A person could easily spend a lifetime on these subjects and I still have a lot to learn.
The Tree Department is still busy cleaning up some storm issues from the October storm. I apologize if we have not yet responded to a call you made for service, and truth be told it may be buried in the avalanche of requests we received during and since late October’s storm. Please call or reach out again after the New Year if this is the case, and again I’m sorry.
We are getting many calls to remove trees since October’s storm. People are spooked from what we all saw. There are few scenarios where I can legally remove a tree without a hearing. A hearing takes time and money. Neither which my department has much of.
If a tree poses an “imminent risk” of failure I can remove it on the spot, if I have the resources to do it. Every tree in this town has recently been stress tested by October’s storm. There are trees we see as needing removal and we are working on this.
People are asking us to prune trees away from their houses in such a way it harms the tree and causes it to be imbalanced. We try for at least 10 feet of clearance and usually get more when pruning away from a house.
A tree is like a bowling ball, in that if you cut half of it away on only one side it doesn’t work well. We can prune a tree, but we are mandated to preserve them as well.
This year we planted 47 trees. Next year’s goal is 100. I have town money to buy 10. People have been donating money to plant trees. Thanks so much. I hope to do several fund raisers in the form of presentations on my work with WHOI’s Alvin and Titanic Expeditions. Stay tuned for details.
Public Shade Trees are owned by the public and protected by significant state laws. I am hoping to get some town bylaws in place to bolster that protection and perhaps get the town to a place where it can be a certified Tree City USA. This opens the door further to outside monies for improving our shade tree canopy.
Thanks so much for your patience,
Enjoy your Holiday and be well.
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