CHATHAM, NJ - At a Sept. 1 meeting in Chatham Borough Hall, certified tree expert John D. Linson discussed the Resistograph test done on the 175-year-old Scarlet Oak located at Lower Lum Field. The latest report showed that 71 percent of the tree consisted of "sound, structural wood."

Robert Falzarano, borough administrator; Vincent DeNave, borough engineer; Steve Williams, Tony Torello, Timothy Day, and council member Jim Lonergan (by phone) attended the meeting with Linson.

By drilling into the tree, a Resistograph reading on the health of the tree can be determined. The test included drilling 15 inches into four sides of the tree.

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The tree measures 50.8 inches across, but to account for the bark, the measurement of 48 inches across was used. The testing showed that 29 percent of the tree was decayed and 71 percent consisted of sound structural wood.

"I believe that further study of this tree confirms my original opinion of the tree, that although there is decay in the tree, the risks are manageable and barring any unforeseen event such as an ice storm, hurricane, lightning strike, etc., with regular care the tree should be around for many years to come," Linson, in a letter to the borough, said.

According to Patrick Carroll, chairman of the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission, the borough's department of public works has three estimates on pruning and treatment of the Scarlet Oak. Carroll hopes that the last report by Linson will allow for some of the Lower Lum Field to be reopened. It has been deemed off limits all summer.

The Borough of Chatham Council and the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission had been at odds over reports on the tree and the council nearly introduced an ordinance in August to abolish the STC.

The next Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission meeting is Sept. 15. The Borough of Chatham Council meets on Sept. 14.