Highland Avenue Slated For Tree Removal - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Highland Avenue Slated For Tree Removal

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When Herb Upton takes his 1931 Chrysler for a spin, he travels on Highland Avenue.

He's lived on Highland Avenue for 37 years and says the leafy shady boulevard is part of the area's charm.

"Oh Absolutely. You think about that every time you drive down Highland Avenue, you have all these great trees. It's part of the ambiance, without a doubt," said Upton.

But, from the city's standpoint, not all the trees are so great. After evaluating the trees, they found a lot of tree troubles in the short stretch between Wrightsboro Road, and Walton Way.

"We determined they would be hazardous. We evaluated all of them, some just need to be pruned, but 9 need to be removed," says City tTraffic engineer Steve Cassell.

But, residents on Highland Avenue didn't know 9 of their trees are on the chopping block.

"Hadn't heard anything about that. There may be reasons for that, but that is kind of a shocker. That is a lot of tree for this area," says Upton.

The trees have a wide variety of ailments: disease, cankers, and white rot, and with all the rain, the dead limbs can become water logged, making them prone to come down and do damage.

"Alot of these are well past their life spans. They're showing signs of it, especially in the structure in the hollow spots. They're eventually going to fall one way or the other. They're dropping limbs, some dead wood on them, so they've served their time," says Cassell.

"Who really took a look at it and did they get the experts? We have a lot of good tree experts in this area," says Upton.

These are city trees on city right-of-way, so the city is potentially liable if they do damage.

The plan is to start chopping the 9 trees down next week at a cost of $13,500.

Roy Simkins, of Augusta's Tree Commission, says if the trees are problems, they need to come down. But, he says the Tree Commission will encourage the city to replace the trees that are coming down.

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