Attorney general approves shade tree bylaw

Attorney General Martha Coakley has approved the town’s amended bylaw on public shade trees, according to Town Clerk Mary Ellen Lannon. Town Meeting members in April approved the addition of a new section to Chapter 18 of the town’s bylaws to protect public shade trees. The bylaw defines public shade trees as “all trees planted within a public way or on the boundaries thereof.” Language included in the new section requires anyone who wants to remove or prune a public shade tree to submit a written request to the town’s tree warden, who will then hold a public hearing on the issue. Any person who asks that a tree be removed must also pay for the work — including expenses related to any required legal advertising, police traffic details, and inspection of the tree by an arborist — and cover the cost of planting replacement trees.