City officials say they must complete an archaeological survey for the State Historical Preservation Office. Part of that survey requires excavation under those trees in the Plaza. On top of that, city officials say multiple tree specialists recommended their removal because of the trees’ bad health.
“The larger sweet gum is showing signs of girdling, where the root system surrounds the tree and depletes the tree of nutrients,” said City of Ashland Engineering Services Manager, Scott Fleury.
But protestors don’t buy that. “It’s a piece of me. It’s a piece of history,” said Ashland resident Lisa Stanley. “I’m very disappointed that the City didn’t listen to all of the people.”
Student Max Afshar spent the moments before the tree fell representing the tree.
“I believe that trees have rights. I believe that they don’t want to be taken down. And I don’t see the necessity in them being taken down. They don’t have a voice and so I’m here to represent their voice,” he said.
City officials say crews will return to the Plaza next week to kickstart the archaeological survey. Then the rest of the redesign construction should be completed by March of 2013. The new plan includes nine trees, more specific to growth in a concrete area.