I like trees. They take such a long time to grow that they're due a certain amount of respect just for their longevity. I have a tree in my backyard — it's actually in the neighbor's yard — that has grown into my six-foot wood privacy fence. But when the neighbor asked if we should share the cost of felling it, I resisted. And rebuilt the fence to go around it. It's still there.

Given my soft spot for trees, I find it extra difficult to report that the city Forestry Division says it will remove 100 trees from the downtown area. The dead or almost-dead trees are of all varieties, including elm, ash, silver maple, white fir, spruce and Ponderosa pine.

Removal begins June 21 and will take several months.

The removal area is bordered by Fillmore Street on the north, Fountain Boulevard on the south, Wahsatch Avenue on the east and Cascade Avenue on the west. The trees are primarily located on the medians along Cascade, Nevada, Wahsatch and Willamette avenues.

From a release:

The City removes, on average, several hundred trees a year from parks, parkways and medians. This year’s removals, however, will be especially noticeable because of the central locations of these trees. As damage this significant cannot be reversed, there is no alternative to removing the trees. Dead trees left in the ground become hazards that can attract a variety of bark beetles. Such infestations can easily spread to neighboring live trees. Dead trees are also less stable, increasing the chance of branches breaking or falling, especially during storms.

The $56,000 budget for this project includes removal, pruning, stumping and tree replanting. Forestry crews plan to begin replanting in July and August.

Many of the downed logs will be auctioned off on the public surplus auction site, publicsurplus.com with proceeds going into the city’s tree planting fund. Other logs will be processed and put into Forestry’s mulch bins and offered free to citizens at the Forestry Operations Center (1601 Recreation Way).

The City Forestry Division manages over 120,000 park and street trees in addition to several thousand acres of forested land.

For more information on the City’s urban forest, go to springsgov.com or call 385-5942.

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