Sprawling courthouse trees expected to be cut, removed

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thirty-one of the 40 trees around the Warren County Courthouse are marked to be trimmed or removed by winter.

Whether they are touched at all depends on the will of local government and Entergy.

Bradford pear and sawtooth oak trees in grassy areas between sections of the rear parking lot and those that face Cherry and Adams streets are either competing for root space with live oaks on the property are entangled in power lines, Buildings and Grounds Department chief Chuck Thornton told supervisors during their regular meeting Monday.

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Others are weather-damaged and should be removed, he said.

The trees on county rights of way will stay until colder temperatures, making pruning and digging a little easier, the board decided.

“This is a January-February job, really,” board president Richard George said.

Thornton said two private citizens had asked the department to consider cutting them back or taking them out.

Pear trees closest to Cherry and Adams are on a municipal right of way.

The city’s Landscaping Department removes trees deemed to be threats to public safety — for example, if roots threaten gas or water lines, city landscaper Jeff Richardson said.

Otherwise, he said, the job of cutting trees around power lines usually falls to Entergy.

“We’re not allowed to touch ’em,” Richardson said.

Six pear trees on Cherry and four on Adams are under primary power lines that aren’t insulated from sprawling tree limbs like secondary lines, Entergy spokesman Don Arnold said.

It’s been two years since they were trimmed, and all of the “slower-growing trees” are on a five-year pruning schedule, he said.

“If the city or county wanted us to cut them down, we’d probably work with them,” he said.