Removal of Trees in Watertown by Cambridge Has Been Halted

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Charlie Breitrose

Some of the trees on the north side of Linear Park (to the left) were removed because they sit on top of a water main owned by Cambridge.

The removal of trees in Watertown by the City of Cambridge has been stopped, and more assessment will be done before any others are removed.

Cutting of trees along the Linear Path behind Town Hall and between Whites and Waverley avenues has drawn strong condemnation from many Watertown residents. The trees sit on top of land owned by the City of Cambridge, and which is above a pipe that supplies water to Cambridge.

Town Council President Mark Sideris announced the halt of tree removals at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

“Believe me, the Town, Town Administration and Town Council are very disappointed with the (City of Cambridge’s) actions and the method of communication with the Town,” Sideris said. “However, it must be recognized that Cambridge has the same rights in its property as any other private property owner. There is no requirement for public notice of tree removal on private property, as there would be with public shade trees.”

While the cutting has stopped, about 20 trees have already been removed, Sideris said. Originally, Cambridge Water Department officials told Watertown’s Tree Warden that they planned to remove 25 trees because they feared they would damage the pipe, or roots had already infiltrated the water system.

Watertown officials have been in touch with officials in Cambridge, who said they “will be conducting an assessment but will not be cutting down any more trees at this time,” according to Sideris.

“We will continue to work with the City to improve communication on this issue, and encourage the City to preserve as many of the trees in Watertown as possible” Sideris said. “We share your concerns, and will do our best to safeguard the trees to the extent possible given the City’s rights on its own property.”

See other stories about the Tree Removals:

Q&A: Town Councilor Talks About Removal of Trees in Town by Cambridge

Trees Growing Over Cambridge Water Pipe Through Town Will be Removed

5 thoughts on “Removal of Trees in Watertown by Cambridge Has Been Halted

  1. Kudos for everybody involved in making this developing story a happy one! residents and visitors will be thrilled to benefit of healthy solutions.

  2. We need Cambridge to make reparations for the damage they have done to our park. I want to know what their plans are for re-beautifying the area after their work is completed. They should replant something that will not infiltrate the aqueduct.

  3. Halted or simply finished? The Town Council seems to be getting credit for doing nothing here but being upset about Cambridge removing trees for their own land. What did Watertown do to halt the removal of any trees?

  4. 1. The pipe (30″ steel) is well below where it would be effected by tree roots.
    2. The only leak in recent memory was on Spring Street over 35 years ago.
    3. The system is gravity fed not pressurized.
    4. The pipe is over 100 years old and will have to be replaced eventually.

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