Public meeting regarding city’s tree removal policy canceled | Local News

Public meeting regarding city’s tree removal policy canceled | Local News

NEWBURYPORT — A joint Tree Commission and Department of Public Services meeting scheduled for Thursday to discuss the procedures for removing and replacing public trees was abruptly canceled Wednesday night.

“There will be more discussion but I don’t know when,” Tree Commissioner Sheila Taintor said in a Wednesday evening text.

Taintor did not respond when asked why the meeting was canceled.

The meeting, which was originally scheduled for last week but postponed until Aug. 11, was called after Newburyport Bank drew considerable flak for cutting down five shade trees outside its State Street branch. The trees were due to be replaced next spring but the bank reversed course and planted five smaller ornamental trees right before Yankee Homecoming began in late July.

Taintor criticized the bank for not following city guidelines when it cut down the trees. Although the bank contacted the city’s tree warden asking for permission, it did not inform the Tree Commission, which would have then scheduled a public hearing on the proposal, according to Taintor.

Amid the bank’s maneuvering to replace the trees as outrage remained fervent around the city, the special meeting could be seen as a way of making sure the DPS and the Tree Commission avoid similar communication short circuits.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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2022-08-11 00:27:00