City crews preparing to remove some Downtown Mall trees
Later this week, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will hold an information meeting on removing some of the trees on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. Riann Anthony is the deputy director of the department.
“We are very lucky that the Downtown Mall trees have been in existence for this long,” Anthony said. “Some of them are healthy and others are not healthy but per our urban forester is that all of the trees are stressed from a number of factors.”
Anthony addresses the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board last Thursday. He said the number one factor are the tree grates that he said are squeezing trees that have outgrown them. He also said heaters for outdoor restaurants also cause stress.
“There’s a lot of café spaces that also have little lights that they use, nails, to put the lights on and stuff like that nature,” Anthony said.
The city has been studying this issue for many year but action has not yet been taken. Anthony said the city is looking to remove hazards that might be in danger of falling. The ones most at risk will be removed over the next few months.
“These are trees that are in the worst shape and we are looking out for the best interest of our community and of the folks that work on the mall,” Anthony said. “We do not want to ever see a tree just fall.”
Nine trees in all will be removed. The first education session will be on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Two in-person meetings will be held next week. (meeting info)
Anthony said the city is also seeking a consultant to help come up with a replacement policy for trees on the Downtown Mall.
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