After a somewhat testy hearing Monday, Edgartown selectmen deferred a decision on whether to allow two shade trees to be cut down on Cooke street.

Contractor Norman Rankow wants permission to remove the two trees from a property at 140 Cooke.

Selectman Margaret Serpa cited a report from an arborist that a 45-foot spruce tree on the property was in poor condition, but a 12-foot cypress tree is in good condition.

“I want to take those trees out,” Mr. Rankow told selectmen Art Smadbeck and Margaret Serpa. “The spruce tree is really in tough shape. It’s really unsightly. The cypress at this point is a rather large tree and overgrown.”

Chairman Michael Donaroma recused himself from the hearing.

Mr. Rankow did not submit a site plan, but said the trees are holding up installation of a fence and other construction.

Mrs. Serpa raised objections. “We have not to my knowledge allowed a good tree to be taken down,” she said. “I don’t have a problem taking down the poor tree, but until we have a plan, I’m reluctant to take down a good tree. I’m not ready to vote to replace a good tree without a better commitment on what would be a comparable replacement.

At first, Mr. Rankow said he had no plans to replace the trees, but near the end of the hearing, offered to replace the trees with some of “like kind.”

The two selectmen voted to continue the hearing until their next meeting on Sept. 21, and asked Mr. Rankow to submit a site plan.