The city's decision to cut down trees on Capitol Avenue in front of the Bank of America building prompts a news release -- a pre-emptive strike on tree huggers. News release on the jump.
CITY NEWS RELEASE
The City of Little Rock announced today that seven of the trees on the north side of Capital Avenue (adjacent to the Bank of America building) will be removed. These trees are damaged or ailing and pose a potential safety hazard.
“While the City does not announce every time crews have to remove damaged or ailing trees,” noted City Manager Bruce Moore, “these trees are in a highly visible location. The City wanted to ensure the people working along Capital Avenue understood what was being done and why.”
The trees were planted in the late 1970s and have outgrown their four foot square planter. This has caused them to become restricted and has precipitated their decline. Originally, there were eight trees. One has already died and was removed in the autumn of 2005. At least three of the trees had roots penetrating into the mortar between the brick pavers and concrete underbase.
According to Peter Rausch, the City’s Urban Forester, “These seven trees will not survive more than two further growing seasons. Because of a lack of sufficient supporting root structure, they are now in danger of being blown down during a heavy wind.” With the construction currently underway along that section of Capital Avenue, the decision was made to proceed with removing the trees now.
Since the mid 1990s, trees planted by the City in the River Market District and along East Capital Avenue (by the Post Office) have been more conducive to urban landscape and hardscape environments. Rausch noted that this will continue. Future tree plantings along streetscapes will include an increased planting area size for mature tree size; adequate rooting space for the species planted; and selection of a tree species with a mature size suitable for the planting area which will allow for branch, trunk and root growth, while maintaining desired benefits and clearances.