Tree limbs continued to be cut on Martin Luther King BLVD. Monday, September 27, 2021. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

Tree limbs continued to be cut on Martin Luther King BLVD. Monday, September 27, 2021. (Photo by Faye Gaston)

By Faye Gaston

There have been voiced objections to the pruning of live oak street trees on Conecuh/82E from Piggly Wiggly to Sunoco and down MLK Blvd. The objections are that this "removed the normal canopy and disfigured the trees" and that it would take years for the limbs to grow back.

The suggestions are that the Union Springs Tree Committee would respond to these objections.

There is information in Union Springs ordinances under "Vegetation, Article II, Tree Program." This gives much information about the City Tree Committee's responsibilities.

Some of the information is as follows:

Section 17-25: "The committee, when requested by the City Council, shall consider, investigate, make finding, report and recommend upon any special matter of question coming within the scope of its work."

Section 17-33: Tree Topping. It shall be unlawful as normal for any person, firm, or city department to top any street tree, park tree, or other trees on public property. Topping is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three inches in diameter within the tree's crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree. Trees severely damaged by storms or other obstructions where other pruning practices are impractical may be exempted from this article at the determination of the city tree committee".

Section 17-34: Pruning, corner clearance: Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the city shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp or obstruct the view of any street intersection and so that there shall be a clear space of eight feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk. Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased, or dangerous trees or broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public. The city shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light or interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign."

Section 17-39: Review by City Council. The city council shall have the right to review the conduct, acts, and decisions of the city tree committee. Any person may appeal from any ruling or order of the city tree committee to the city council who may hear the matter and make a final decision."

The names of the Tree Committee Board Members obtained from city hall are Susan Anderson, Chairperson; Stan "Chilly" Cooks; Mark Richardson, Forestry Representative; Presetta "Necee" Walker; Linda Montgomery; and Brian Agnew.

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