It is time to move forward on courthouse tree issue

Apr 04, 2013

The talk of the county in the past few days has been the look of the courthouse lawn now that all the mature trees have been removed.

The difference is stark, and admittedly the area surrounding the courthouse is barren — and unsightly.

The good news is, the situation will be short lived. The commissioners will consider landscape plans that are to be submitted to Dale Burris, the county maintenance supervisor. Burris said he will post a notice on the county website seeking proposals.

We urge the plans to be considered as soon as possible, but also understand any decision made this spring is one our children and our children’s children will have to live with. It is more important to get the right plan than to get a plan right away.

Given the prominent nature of both the building and its location, we would hope the final landscape plan selected would feature mature trees, shrubs and other landscape materials.

There have been both positive and negative comments about the decision to update the courthouse landscaping.

Some say clearing the trees that towered above the Historic Courthouse now allows a view of the mountains. Others say the trees’ absence showcases the grand architecture of the courthouse.

Still others are saddened that the trees are gone and question whether the action needed to be taken.

The truth of the matter is hashing over the past will do nothing to move toward the future. The trees were cut down after a report from a certified arborist indicated the sugar maples were either diseased or had structural flaws and were a liability.

The lone red spruce left behind looked bedraggled and was leaning toward the street. The commissioners concluded starting over with a clean slate when drafting a landscaping plan would be the best course.

It is time to put the courthouse tree issue behind us and move forward. If there is only as much energy put into devising a new plan as there has been lamenting the change, the new look will certainly be a winner.

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