Tree removal process under way

Staff Writer

FREEHOLD — Work has begun to trim and remove trees that, left untouched, could cause dangerous problems for property owners during a severe weather event.

A series of severe weather events in 2012 took a toll on Freehold Borough and changed the landscape of a community that has been known for its beautiful mature shade trees.

Freehold Borough was hit hard by a supercell wind and rain storm in July, posttropical storm Sandy in October, and a nor’easter that dumped 15 inches of snow on the town in November. The wicked weather brought down trees and public utilities infrastructure, and damaged many homes.

In an attempt to protect people, homes and property from damage that could be caused by future storms, the Shade Tree Commission has been evaluating trees in the borough and checking them for stability and damage.

Councilman Ron Griffiths, who serves as the Borough Council’s liaison to the Shade Tree Commission, said a certified tree expert, William Brash, was retained to examine the municipality’s trees.

A report prepared by Brash indicates that 93 trees will be removed and 35 trees will undergo significant trimming.

Chestnut Arbor Forestry Service, Old Bridge, has started to remove the trees that can no longer remain in place. In many cases a tree will be removed and the stump will be left in place. Griffiths said the firm would return at a later date to remove the stumps.

Griffiths said anyone who has a problem with a tree on his property should call Borough Administrator Joseph Bellina. The information will be forwarded to the Shade Tree Commission for evaluation.

Shade Tree Commission Chairwoman Christine Gregory said progress is being made on the tree removal and trimming. She said the work began in January and is expected to be completed by May.