County cuts down courthouse trees

Feb 27, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone TIMBER — Crews begin cutting the first tree on the courthouse lawn.

Haywood County began cutting down the diseased trees Wednesday morning.

With safety precautions in place, crews are taking the project slowly with the goal of removing one tree a day.

Commissioners decided the trees had to be removed after receiving a report showing that seven of the 11 trees on the Haywood County courthouse lawn pose a high risk to life or property provided commissioners with the impetus they needed to take action.

The courthouse "Tree Health and Safety Analysis" report was prepared by certified arborist Bill Leatherwood. Of the 12 trees included in the study, 11 were sugar maples and the last was a red spruce. It is the tree located nearest to property fronting Depot Street and was the only tree with a "low" risk assessment. This tree is the only one on the courthouse property that will be preserved.

Leatherwood's report estimates the six maple trees in the front courthouse lawn were planted in the early 1970s and pegs the age of the other trees at between 80 and 100 years old.