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City removes large Live Oak, neighbors upset over decision

4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, November 27 2023 Nov 27, 2023 November 27, 2023 6:52 PM November 27, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A large Live Oak tree is being removed from Olive Street in the Garden District. Neighbors who live near the tree are calling for a better process after they say their concerns resulted in drastic measures by the City-Parish.

"I think those who enjoy the shade of these trees are disappointed to hear that it's coming down today," resident Leah Kahler said.

A crew arrived early Monday morning to take down the tree that's been standing tall for decades. It all started when a concerned neighbor reached out to the city when they noticed a limb hanging across the street being hit by delivery trucks. Instead of cutting the limb, the city decided to remove the entire tree.

The north side of the tree has a long split down the trunk. David and Sandy Franz have lived across the street from the tree for about twenty years. They say two independent arborists investigated the tree and came up with a different solution other than cutting it down.

"With limb removal, with a through bolt to tie the two halves of the tree together they - independently -  these two arborists came up with a solution," David said.

The Garden District takes great pride in its Live Oaks. The Live Oak Love Collective raises money to maintain dozens of them in the street medians. The one being removed by the city is not part of the Collective, it's in the city's right-of-way.

Now that the tree is being removed, neighbors are asking for a better process so they don't have to fear calling for help in the future might cost them a tree.

The city says it has a responsibility to put the safety and the welfare of the public first.

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