Board Approves Professional Services to Support Tree Planning

March 14, 2024

The Bedford Select Board on Monday approved a $133,350 professional services contract with a Shrewsbury firm that will coordinate the development of a tree master plan for the town.

Davey Resource Group will be working with a seven-member ad hoc committee charged with drafting a forestry management plan that ideally will serve as a town planning document if adopted by the Select Board. The committee’s scope is confined to trees on public land. 

The committee consists of two elected officials, two appointed board members, and two at-large residents. Funding was approved by a vote at the 2023 Annual Town Meeting. 

According to the committee’s web page, objectives are “to identify specimen trees for targeted preservation; develop a planting and maintenance plan for future resilience; and identify areas of future planting.”

Public Works Department Director David Manugian, an ex-officio member of the committee, told the Select Board on Monday that the contractor also will conduct an inventory of public trees, supplementing existing data, and provide an outreach and engagement program.

Manugian said a recent pavement management survey recorded “a swath of three-dimensional data of the public right-of-way” that will be useful in the tree inventory process, supplemented by a survey on the ground. Contract documents say the tree count may include the use of lidar (light detection and ranging) technology. 

The contractor uses an inventory management software product called TreeKeeper, Manugian said. “It has some nice capabilities that complement our GIS system.” 

In answer to a question about grant funding, Manugian said that could be a resource for executing the final phase of the master plan study, which is tree planting.

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John Laferriere
March 18, 2024 11:23 am

Someone should assess the risk of fire destroying trees in Hartwell town forest. There is a lot of dead wood that could supercharge a fire in the event of a drought and heat wave.

Richard Madison
March 17, 2024 10:36 am

It makes me sad to watch Bedford’s forest steadily clear cut to make room for MacMansions and wider roads. That sadness won’t soften much from a UFMP that ignores the clear cutting and diddles with the bits of canopy in our municipal urban parks and savanna (presumably the blue and green in

Susan Mildrum
March 15, 2024 6:59 am

It is great news to hear that the Select Board is supporting a Tree Master Plan. Since reading Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard I have a greater appreciation for the impact trees have on the environment. Areas of my neighborhood have become noticeably hotter as mature trees have been cut down. Some young trees planted by the town have not been maintained and have died. Having a plan to preserve, plant and maintain trees is a good first step.

March 14, 2024 5:18 pm

How many years after the 1st inventory, will Davey tree be doing followup inventories? I am assuming tree health changes yearly, so if you don’t do it every year what’s the sense of doing an inventory.

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