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11 pecan trees removed from courthouse square

Eleven old and diseased pecan trees were removed from the Pike County courthouse square last week after commissioners approved their removal at the June 30 meeting. One of the tree’s limbs had fallen on an employee’s vehicle, causing significant damage. ’The issue of the pecan trees and falling limbs first came up in 2013, when the commission received a letter regarding the condition of the trees,’ said county manager John Hanson. ‘We had an accident three or four weeks ago when limbs fell on an employee’s car. We also had a large limb hanging from one of the trees during the Memorial day event but it wasn’t recognized until the service was underway.’ Quotes were obtained for the removal of the trees and commissioners approved up to $9,450 to move forward with the process. The bid was awarded to Salter’s Treeman at a cost of $7,050 to ‘˜limb down’ seven of the trees to about 10 or 12 feet so public works employees could remove the root ball and pack dirt so grass can be grown in the area. The other four trees – which are too close to the sidewalks to remove the roots – were ground up by Salter’s Treeman. ’We will take county equipment and use the length of the remaining trunk as leverage to slowly move the tree back and forth to remove the root ball,’ said Hanson. ‘We will be able to pack dirt back in the area so there won’t be any settling. Then we will put top soil in and plant grass.’ Hanson said the county with consult the UGA extension’s turf grass department on the best way to establish grass on the courthouse lawn. ’A lot of the pecan tree’s shade has held the courthouse lawn back from growing grass,’ he said. ‘It may be next spring before citizens can see a difference in the courthouse lawn.’

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