Tree Expert Will Attend Chatham Borough Council Meeting to Discuss Scarlet Oak

Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris and council member Victoria Fife will get to ask tree expert John Linson about the safety of the Scarlet Oak at Monday's meeting Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council has invited tree expert John Linson to its meeting on Monday, Sept. 14 to ask him in person about safety issues surrounding the 175-year-old Scarlet Oak tree located on lower Lum Field.

So far, there have been three reports written on the health and safety of the Scarlet Oak, which are now posted on the Chatham Borough website.

"We will be discussing all of the reports at the next Council meeting," Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris said via email. "The reports, especially the multiple reports prepared by Linson, address more than the extent of decay. They also touch on issues of safety."

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The mayor and council and the Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission have been at odds over how to deal with the aging tree, which has measurable decay of 29 percent inside its trunk.

At the Aug. 10 meeting, the council was set to introduce an ordinance that would have abolished the 106-year-old STC, which has legal control over decisions made on trees in the borough. The STC had recommended treatment for ants and pruning. The council was leaning toward removal.

Council President Gerald Helfrich moved to table the ordinance, citing that such a decision should be voted on by the entire council. Council members James Collander and Jim Lonergan were absent from the Aug. 10 meeting.

Details of the Aug. 10 meeting can be found by clicking here.

"We're just trying to interpret a lot of data to make the right decision," Harris said.

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