Additionally, the mayor has the power to give the tree a pardon.
Dick Walker, the former parks and recreation director, would often go to “war” to save the trees, Davis remembered.
“I witnessed those wars,” she told the council at last Thursday’s meeting.
Davis is recommending a new ordinance to save Peabody the expense and aggravation that this process can create. The new bylaw would send that $8,000 bill to the person demanding the destruction of a healthy tree. What’s more, anyone who wants to play Paul Bunyan would have to be Johnny Appleseed, as well: Chop down a healthy tree, and you’ll have to plant a new one somewhere.
The new bylaw would also ban drive-by tree removals. Presently, someone can condemn a tree they happen to pass on the street. The new ordinance would require anyone demanding the death of a healthy tree to live within 100 yards of it.
The ordinance still requires some “tweaking,” Manning-Martin said, before it is presented to the legal affairs subcommittee at a future date.