Announcement - Tree Replacement Work Downtown Dahlonega

Over the past year and a half, the City of Dahlonega regularly coordinated with experts to assess the healthiness of the Pecan tree at Main St & Park St in downtown. Pecan trees have surface roots, are structurally weak and tend to develop internal cavities. These common problems are intensified with age and in urban environments where trees often lack oxygen, water and nutrients. As the health of any City-owned tree declines, or private and/or public property is damaged, the City has a responsibility to look for replacement options and coordinates with the Georgia Forestry Commission's certified arborists for recommendations on how to proceed.

When considering how to proceed with the Pecan tree, the first option considered was re-laying and slightly elevating the sidewalk to eliminate the buckling caused by roots. Elevating was determined to be a temporary fix only because additional oxygen and water will only promote further root growth, which risks compromising the adjacent building. Additionally, as the roots continued to grow the buckling sidewalks would return, creating the same accessibility concerns that currently exist.

The second option of severing and removing the large roots which are causing the buckling would destabilize the tree, accelerate its decline and increase risk for spontaneously falling under high wind conditions. Additionally, this option would require duplicated work and expense.

The third option of removing and replacing the tree was presented to Council by staff as the preferred option and most permeant solution. The tree will be professionally removed on January 31, 2017. The sidewalks buckled by tree roots will be restored to a flat, safe walking surface, tree and root debris will be removed and the planter bed restored. Upon completion of this work, the replacement tree will be planted the week of February 20.

A male Gingko biloba "Golden Globe" has been selected as the replacement tree. This tree will serve as an eye catching focal point with its bright green leaves that turn to a vibrant golden yellow in the fall. Ginkgo trees have proven to grow successfully in urban environments despite pollution and other root obstacles. Benefits of this specific tree include it does not produce messy, foul smelling fruits and it requires a very small amount of maintenance to live a healthy life.

The "Golden Globe" Gingko along with others will be presented at this year's Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, February 23 at 11 AM. Please join us!