Councilmember Explains San Marco Tree Removal | SLIDESHOWS | Environment

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Councilmember Explains San Marco Tree Removal | SLIDESHOWS
Councilmember Explains San Marco Tree Removal | SLIDESHOWS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For the second time in the past few months, the city is cutting down trees in San Marco.

In July, city crews traveled up and down Hendricks Avenue and San Jose Boulevard removing trees from the median.  The city said the trees were dying anyway, and replaced them in the ensuing weeks.

Over the weekend, the oak trees along LaSalle Street by the San Marco library were the targets of chain saws.

PICTURES: Trees Removed Near San Marco Library | Why the Trees Had to Go

According to a notice by the San Marco Preservation Society (SMPS) and an accompanying aerial photograph, the trees "are no longer able to regenerate leaves each year and have more dead branches than live ones."

Five of the six trees have been cut down; the one closest to Hendricks Avenue will remain.

The SMPS said the trees are now a safety hazard in an area frequented by pedestrians, and is treating the tree removal as "an opportunity for new growth."

"We have the opportunity to work with the city in the design of the replacement trees," the SMPS said, though replacement plans have not been announced.

District 5 City Council member Lori Boyer, whose district includes San Marco, sent several pictures showing why the trees had to come down.

"I hated to see the old oaks removed, but understood the danger of falling limbs, and knew this day was coming," she said in an email this afternoon.

Boyer said City forester Dan Robertson spoke about the need to get the trees down over the summer.

She also said it appears something new will go into the space formerly occupied by the trees: a bio-swale.

It's essentially a rain garden to help improve the quality of drainage into the nearby St. Johns River, and it will be built between the sidewalk and the street.

New trees will be planted between the sidewalk and the library, Boyer indicated.

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