Ledger Inquirer

Not as simple as, ‘Hey, cut this tree down’

Trees hang out over Lynch Road near Bull Creek Golf Course.
Trees hang out over Lynch Road near Bull Creek Golf Course. mowen@ledger-enquirer.com

“The tree gives shade even to him who cuts off its boughs.” ― Sri Chaitanya, spiritual leader, circa 1500.

I hope Sri’s right, because we’ve been cutting some boughs lately and are apt to be cutting more before it’s over.

We wrote last week about a potentially dangerous situation on the back side of the tennis center at Cooper Creek Park. (More on that later.)

The column got the attention of Concerned Reader Michael, who is alarmed about the condition of some trees along Lynch road between the Bull Creek Golf Course entrance and Matthew’s Elementary School down the road.

“The trees along Bull Creek Golf Course, going along Lynch Road, all the way to Mathews Elementary, are some of the most dangerous looking trees in town,” Michael wrote. “Not sure if the golf course or the city is responsible/liable when something bad happens, but something must be done.”

Michael said there are about 20 trees and/or limbs hanging precariously our over the road, some large enough to do serious damage, maybe even kill someone.

“Can you look into this?”

Sure.

I spoke with Pat Biegler, director of public works, which includes the urban forestry division, which handles such stuff. Biegler said her department handles most all of the city’s tree work, save for rare instances when a job is too big for city equipment.

So they’re the ones who do the deeds, but it’s not as simple as just calling the city and saying, “Will y’all cut down this tree?”

When a tree situation is called in, the city sends out a certified arborist, trained to assess such things. The arborist does his thing and determines what, if anything, needs to be done. Sometimes, nothing is the right thing to do.

“Not every leaning tree poses a threat,” Biegler said.

But if it does pose a threat, a city crew will do what the arborist thinks should be done, whether it’s trimming or cutting down.

The city will only address trees on city property, Biegler said. Those on private property aren’t the city’s problem.

That is, unless a tree on private property poses a threat to the public right of way, Biegler said. In that case, the city will instruct the property owner to have something done about it. If the property owner balks, the city will take care of the situation and send the owner a bill (and file a lien if it’s unpaid).

Anyway, the trees along Lynch Road appear to be in the pubic right of way and some are hanging out over the street.

We’ll see what the arborists think.

Update

Those trees at Cooper Creek we wrote about last week? They’re down, completely. So they won’t be giving shade, even to him who cuts off their boughs.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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