Unauthorized removal of Woods Road trees prompts city discussion

By Ben Holbrook | Jun 24, 2014

Belfast — The removal of two trees on Woods Road without permission from the city prompted a lengthy discussion by councilors during a June 17 meeting.

At issue were a number of trees flagged by the city for possible removal or maintenance. Trees that were identified as needing to be removed included a large pine tree near the intersection of Route 1 and Route 141, as well as a maple tree on Cedar Lane.

A sugar maple on Miller Street was initially flagged for removal, but the city contacted Camden-based Treekeepers LLC to look at the tree. City Manager Joseph Slocum explained to councilors that the representative from Treekeepers LLC suggested significantly reducing the tree's crown as opposed to removing it entirely.

“I will confess that if given enough choice I'm always in favor of saving them [trees], including big crown reductions and cabling and whatever,” Councilor Mike Hurley commented.

Councilors ultimately decided to remove the tree on Cedar Lane and the pine near the Route 1 and Route 141 intersection, and to keep the tree on Miller Street.

While discussing tree removal, Slocum pointed out that recent maintenance trimming by Central Maine Power and Lucas Tree resulted in two trees on Woods Road being cut down without approval from the city.

Adam Lee, a representative from Lucas Tree, explained the removal of the two Woods Road trees was due to a miscommunication with the crew working on the road that day. He said the crew, which had been working on Islesboro for two months prior to returning to the mainland, was unaware of the agreement between the city and CMP regarding the removal of trees.

He said he has since had all of the crews sign a form explaining that no trees are to be removed without first receiving approval from the city.

Councilor Roger Lee asked whether any neighbors were upset at the removal of the trees. A representative from CMP said the company did not receive any complaints after the trees were cut down.

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