Four old trees on South Water street in Edgartown will be replaced as part of a house renovation.
The town selectmen Monday approved the removal of four trees at 101 South Water street; one sycamore maple and three Siberian elms. The house at 101 South Water street was purchased last spring by Michael and Bernadine Caruso, who are renovating the property.
Gerret Conover, an agent acting on behalf of the Carusos, said three of the trees are on the Caruso property and one is on a neighbor’s property. The neighbor is in favor of removing the tree.
The sycamore maple is 18 feet high and is “very sickly,” Mr. Conover said. The Siberian elms, each 50 feet tall, were evaluated by an arborist, and Mr. Conover said the arborist found that the trees are near the end of their lives. Mr. Conover and Robbie Hutchison, a landscape designer with Donaroma’s Nursery, said they wanted to plant healthier trees with better spacing.
Donaroma’s Nursery is owned by selectman Michael Donaroma, who was not present at the meeting.
Mr. Conover said the trees would be replaced with 35 to 40-foot tall London Plane trees. We “look at it as an opportunity for very nice new shade trees in a properly planted location,” he said.
Town tree warden Stuart Fuller said he could easily support removing the sycamore maple because it is in poor condition. He said two of the elms have been pruned back significantly to accommodate electric wires.
The third elm, however, “is a really nice tree, with a lot of good branching structure,” he said. “I have a really hard time supporting the removal of that.” He said it would be hard to replicate the shadow cast by that tree.
He noted that the elms are listed in fair condition, the second best of four conditions.
In response to a question from the selectmen, Mr. Fuller said he could support replacing the trees if they could plant a tree that is the same height.
“We better take advantage of getting some nice trees,” selectman Margaret Serpa said.
“It sounds like a pretty good plan for the future for this area and putting up unusually large trees is probably a benefit to the town,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said.
The selectmen also approved a plan to install a brick sidewalk in front of the house.