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If A Tree Falls in Belmont, It Depends If the Town Will Remove It

Whether the town's tree service hauls away arbor damage depends whose it is.

With nearly as many trees as residents and an extensive annual program to plant them around down, it's no wonder that Belmont is annually named a Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation.

So after a storm, the most damage caused by storms and wind are trees toppling over and branches falling onto property and public ways.

But according to Belmont's Public Works Director Peter Castanino, not all trees damaged or fallen by Hurricane Sandy on Monday, Oct. 29, will be taken away or chopped up on the town's dime.

To report a town shade tree that has fallen or heavy branches from the tree in public roadways, call the Belmont DPW at 617-993-2680.

Castanino said DPW's Highway Division personnel and the two crews from the town's tree service contractor will only remove damage from what is considered "town shade trees" which consists of trees along the narrow grass strip between the roadway and the sidewalk, located on traffic islands, around town buildings and at Clay Pit Pond.

"Those are considered town-owned trees," said Castanino Friday, Oct. 26, noting that most heavy branches lying in the street are likely to have come from those shade trees.

But the town will not help with damage from trees that are located within residential property lines. Castanino said homeowners or property and business owners will need to contact a private tree service and pay the out-of-pocket cost of the removal.   

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