Removed Tremont St. Trees Presented Public Safety Hazard, According to City

The view on the corner of Tremont and W. Brookline with the trees removed.

A big shock came to residents of the Tremont and W. Brookline area this week, when three trees marked for “maintenance” were completely removed. Resident Patrick Miller wrote in to South End Patch noting that the tree removal destroyed his property’s curb appeal and privacy.  

“My windows are directly above Gold Gallery looking out onto W. Brookline,” he said. “I now have no privacy, and the street looks horrible. They also destroyed our brick sidewalk in the process.”

It wasn’t long before others began to share their own concerns. Reader Omar wrote that he was very disappointed – and borderline angry –  to see the trees removed from the block.

“Trees are a key component of West Brookline Street’s charm and beauty,” he wrote. “The fact that the removal came without warning adds insult to injury. The neighborhood should be more aware of this kind of activity and prevent it in the future.”

However, the root of the issue actually dates back to 2011, according to the city of Boston, which has come through with an answer and specific information as to what lead to the tree’s removal through a Citizen’s Connect response from the Parks Department. 

Max Ford-Diamond of the Parks Dept. wrote in his response the three pear trees at 655-657 Tremont St on W. Brookline were removed due to the hazard that they posed to public safety.

“The original case was created on June 10, 2011, which requested that the trees be pruned,” he wrote. “The site was inspected on June 30 by the Boston Parks Departments Inspector who is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist.”

“At the time the three trees were inspected they were deemed unable to be pruned to the cities pruning specifications and in need of removal for several reasons:

  • All three trees were leaning more then 25 degrees over the road;
  •  All three trees have had multiple emergencies where large leaders had broken off of them;
  • The trunks of the trees have been hit numerous times by trucks and cars and have large wounds that have never healed and were starting to decay. 

The Boston Parks Department also does not plant this species of tree anymore due to there high risk of failure due to poor branch structure and weak branch attachment points. The Boston Parks Department has pictures of these defects that show why the trees needed to be removed.

A new tree request will be made for this location to have the site inspected for new trees. The replanting process currently takes between 6 and 12 months.

The contractor who removed the trees has been notified to go back to the site remove the cobbles and to clean up the site. The cobble stones will be removed because they are not a part of the Cities Tree Planting Specifications.”

Those with remaining questions can address them with the Parks Department at 617-635-7275.

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