The Morristown Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing a Shade Tree Commission at their Tuesday meeting.

Residents Tina Wahlstrom, Margaret Brady and Louise Witt all said such a commission would help the town recover trees lost in Hurricane Irene, the snowstorm of October 2012 and Hurricane Sandy.

"Our trees have been impacted by severe weather," Wahlstrom said. "I want to thank the administration and the council for establishing this Shade Tree Commission."

Brady said at Willow Hall, a registered historic site, she had been astonished to discover the value of damaged trees lost in storms over the last two years.

"We were shocked at the amount the trees were worth," she said. Six big trees worth $25,000 was only the start of it.

Over the years, Brady said, she has seen many big trees grow in Morristown. "There are many old trees that are valuable" in town, she said.

Now, though, she sees her neighbors, "out of fear of another storm, taking down their trees." She hopes the commission can help preserve and protect those trees still standing in public space, and foster a new generation of trees.

Councilwoman Rebecca Feldman said she hoped the commission would help "repair the urban canopy" enjoyed by so many.

Don’t miss updates from Patch!