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Dying trees at courthouse being removed for safety

Passersby near the Lawrence County Courthouse have been treated to a new sight in recent days.

Monday, September 10, 2001

Passersby near the Lawrence County Courthouse have been treated to a new sight in recent days.

Workers with Fradd’s Tree Service have been climbing, cutting, chopping and removing dead or dying trees from the courthouse lawn – changing the look of the courthouse area for the first time in many years.

The work came about after a large tree limb from a sycamore fell recently near people on the ground, and it was discovered that tree and others were rotting or dying, said county commission administrator Kathleen Fraley.

The two large ones in front of the courthouse were overhanging Fourth Street and were dying, so the county decided the expense was worth the safety, she said.

Not only did they endanger the public, but it would be an extreme cost if a falling tree took out a courthouse wall and the county had to replace it, commissioners said.

An investigation found more rotten branches in trees and weak trees that had to be dealt with, so the tree company came in last week to do the job, Mrs. Fraley said.

Six sycamores came down and other trees were trimmed.

"We think some of these trees could be as old as the courthouse," she said, then added that the county wants to replace them, to retain the lawn’s look.

The courthouse lawn currently contains maples, pin oaks and other trees. The removed trees could be replaced with nearly mature trees that produce a mix of nice fall colors, Mrs. Fraley said.

The price tag of replacing trees with others older than just saplings will be a little high, as much as $1,000 per tree, but would be worth it to have the bigger trees in place by fall to restore the landscape as closely as possible, she said.

The county also hopes organizations might make donations to replacing the trees, to offset expenses, commissioners said.