It’s hard sometimes to say goodbye to things we’ve loved. This week, we bid farewell to an icon that has lived its useful life and became sick and dangerous.
The large cottonwood tree in the middle of Bicentennial Park near the pond has been showing serious signs of decay and age for quite some time. We had it evaluated by four ISA Certified Arborists who rate individual trees and the hazard they may cause do to instability and other criteria. On a scale of 1-12 (the higher the number, the more dangerous) the large cottonwood was a 10.
It’s unfortunate that we need to face the reality that trees don’t live forever. But that is the truth.
One major concern with this specific cottonwood is its location. With it being in one of the busiest areas of the park, the potential for something very unsafe occurring increases. This tree has large, heavy branches any of which could case severe damage or even take a life.
The tree has two main trunks with what is called “included bark” which weakens the structure of any tree. The close up pictures above show the trunks and rotten, seeping wood between the two which indicates interior decay. In addition, the almost horizontal branch could fail if interior decay becomes too great for the tree to support the weight of the branch.
The tree is heavily weighted to one side which is causing stress on the included trunk as shown above.
Lastly, the tree has many defects (like tip dieback and the slime flux shown in the above shot) that have not been healing properly leaving us with the hard decision of removal as the best option.
This is not the only tree in our city that we as residents love but are no longer healthy. At some point we need to start a discussion on how to responsibly remove and replace them. Several were planted years ago in road basins and have simply run out of space.