Huntington residents alert MassDOT to dangerous tree

tree with limb and split before
Huntington resident Jim Broga notice this limb lowering over a bolted picnic bench, and notified the MassDOT. (Photo by Amy Porter/The Westfield News)
tree coming down by MassDOT
Tree coming down by MassDOT (Photo: The Westfield News)

HUNTINGTON, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Huntington resident James Broga recently noticed that a limb on a large Chestnut oak in the Route 20 pulloff across from the Huntington Health Center had lowered by six inches and was cracked at the joint. The limb, which he used to be able to walk under, was hanging over a bolted picnic bench, which he thought was a dangerous situation.

Broga notified several people, including the head of the Huntington Highway Dept. Charles Dazelle, who said that the pulloff was under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Upon further inspection of the tree, it was found to have a split down the main trunk, probably caused by a lightning strike, according to Broga’s friend and Huntington resident Michael Porter, a retired treeman.

Porter emailed the MassDOT site and notified them of the dangerous tree, and also called the listed number on the website at

Within three days, MassDOT replied with the following email:

Thank you for emailing the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Our mission is to provide the highest quality customer service to residents and visitors, with the focus on safety and efficiency.

The Department has investigated the tree you have identified, and has it scheduled for removal.

Please contact MassDOT if you have any additional questions, comments or if we can be of further assistance. Thank you again for your email, and have a wonderful day.

David Sherman
Maintenance Engineer
MassDot District One

The tree came down on Tuesday. The whole process from Broga noticing the cracked limb, to the tree coming down, took a little more than a week. Accident averted.

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