Tisbury School tree is taken down

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The remains of a tree, suspected to be a poisonous yew, school officials had cut down Tuesday. — Rich Saltzberg

A tree growing against the façade of the Tisbury School that three plant experts believed to be a yew, based on photographs, was cut down Tuesday. As The Times previously reported, yews can prove fatally toxic to people and animals if ingested. 

“We assisted taking down the tree at the Tisbury School under the direction of the superintendent’s office,” Tisbury DPW director Kirk Mettell said.

“There was something that appeared dangerous, and we needed to take care of it,” Tisbury School committee chair Amy Houghton said. 

Massachusetts law governing schools and school yards forbids poisonous plants and trees from outdoor areas of public schools.

“It shall be free from hazards (e.g. hidden corners, unprotected poles, wells, cesspools, and steps); poisonous plants (e.g. poison oak or ivy); and dangerous machinery or tools,” the law states.