LACONIA — If a tree could speak, it might put voice to a note pinned to its trunk, asking to save its life.
The future of the oak tree on the corner of the lot where Cafua Management Inc. recently constructed a commercial building will come before the city Planning Board when it meets in January.
Last week, Cafua Management Inc. asked the Planning Board for approval to remove the tree, which it claims poses a safety hazard. When board members approved the site plan for a commercial building there, they stipulated that "the large oak tree near the northeast corner of the property is a monumental shade tree, and as such shall be protected and maintain(ed) during and after construction."
The request to fell the tree will be presented to Technical Review Committee, whose members represent various city departments, on Dec. 9, which will submit a report to the Planning Board. The Planning Board may require Cafua Management to commission, at its own expense, a professional arborist to assess the condition of the tree as well as a traffic engineer to determine if the tree obscures the line of sight along Union Avenue.
Meanwhile, the site plan for the commercial building, which was approved by the Planning Board, shows the tree standing entirely within the lot owned by Cafua Management Inc. However, a portion of the trunk is within a short stretch of sidewalk belonging to the city. In other words, the trunk of the tree appears to straddle the property line.
In September, when it was first reported that Cafua Management Inc. inquired about removing the tree, Arthur Costonis, who described himself as an arborist, told the Planning Department that the tree is healthy, but recommended removing the pavement covering its exposed roots and replacing it with loam, as well as fertilizing the tree by injecting nutrients around its roots. No action has been taken by either the city or Cafua Management Inc.
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