City Removes Trees in San Marco; Arborist says they're Healthy | News

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City Removes Trees in San Marco; Arborist says they're Healthy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city of Jacksonville is tearing out 77 trees on Hendricks Avenue in San Marco, on medians between Dunsford Road and La Vaca Road.

Workers at the scene said today the trees are rotten and need to be removed, but not all agree.

Independent arborist Gene Bushor said nothing is wrong with the trees. "It's a healthy tree. There's no dye back at all.  All new growth on there, dark green color. There's nothing wrong with these trees whatsoever."

Bushor, who has been an arborist for 57 years, said he cannot think of a good reason why the trees would have to be torn down.

But the city said they need to be removed.

"The existing trees (Bradford pears and crepe myrtles) are in a declining state of health as determined by the city arborist and a consultant landscape architect," said city spokesperson Kristen Beach in a written statement.

Beach said the project is costing $80,000, funded by the Tree Mitigation Trust Fund, which funds the "vast majority" of the city's tree plantings.

"In short, when a developer removes certain species of healthy trees, they must either pay into the trust fund or replant certain species of trees," said Beach. "By law, those monies paid into the trust fund may only be used to plant trees in the community." 

The city is going to plant 53 Eagleston hollies and 61 crepe myrtles, she said.



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