By JOHN T. WARD
Remember the White Street tree slaughter of 2007?
Well, it happened again Tuesday in Red Bank. And as was the case six years ago. it was necessary and justifiable, tree-care advocates said.
The latest takedown, by the Monmouth County Shade Tree Division, involved four mature Bradford pear trees on Broad Street in front of the Verizon switch building and some nearby stores.
According to Red Bank Shade Tree Committee member Boris Kofman, the committee asked the agency “to evaluate a number of trees on the county road. Independently, adjoining business and property owners contacted them as well.”
The trees, he said, had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy. According to Steve Whille of the county agency, utility contactors had later removed large portions of the branch systems, creating a risk to passersby.
“They were one-sided” in terms of branching and leafing, said Whille. “It’s a hazard.”
Bradford pears are known to shed large limbs at the slightest provocation owing to a genetic trait that causes the limbs to grow too close together. That’s why nine of them were cut down alongside the White Street municipal parking lot in 2007, officials said at the time. They were replaced with 10 Harvest Gold crabapples.
Kofman said the borough commission is “discussing replacement options with the county.” Meantime, the borough has indicated it will remove the stumps, said.
The county cutting crew was seen along Broad Street again Wednesday morning, this time on the west side of the street, between East Bergen Place and Irving Place.