Broadway tree mystery solved: Uptown Columbus Inc. did it

It looks like Uptown Columbus Inc., stepped out on a limb -- and sawed it off.

A large magnolia limb in the median in front of the downtown Marriott was cut Wednesday morning, leaving city officials trying to figure out who cut it.

The limb, which was about 12 inches in diameter and hung low to the ground, was taken down by an Uptown Inc. crew after it hampered the workers ability to keep the area near the curb clean.

It didn't take long to solve the mystery.

"We were wrong," Uptown Inc. President Richard Bishop said. "We should have turned it into the city."

Bishop said an Uptown Inc. supervisor brought the issues with the limb to his attention several weeks ago. "It was starting to get over the curb and it was an issue," Bishop said.

Uptown Inc. crews use heavy equipment to clean streets and sidewalks in the downtown area.

Public Services Director Pat Biegler and city Urban Forestry employees spent about an hour trying to figure out who took down the limb on the 50- to 60-year-old magnolia.

"We will issue them a warning, educate their staff a little more and hopefully next time they will do the right thing," Biegler said.

Biegler said if Uptown Inc. had reported the problem with the limb, " we might very well have taken it out. It wasn't a totally healthy limb."

Bishop agreed, but took full responsibility for the problem.

"That limb needed to be cut, but we did not have the authority to cut it," he said. "We should have turned it over to the city. And I failed to do that."