Meadville Tribune

May 2, 2013

Massive tree removal may delay traffic

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Drivers traveling along Park Avenue between Willow and Linden streets may experience delays throughout the day today as the swamp white oak tree in front of Fullerton Appliance Center, 1196 Park Ave., is taken down.

The 51-inch-diameter tree, believed to have the largest diameter of any street tree in the City of Meadville, is being removed because of failing health, Rick Williams, the city’s development manager, said Wednesday. Because the tree stands in the city right-of-way between the roadway and sidewalk, the city is responsible for its welfare.

“It’s declining badly,” Williams said, noting that last year the decision was made to give it one more year — and now its time is up.

“The canopy is dying,” Eric Proper of Hazlett Tree Service, who will be handling the removal, told the Tribune Thursday. “It’s started to drop limbs at various times the last couple of years and it’s a worry to the city.”

Because the tree’s condition has been carefully monitored for a number of years, its replacement, an elm, was planted nearby about three years ago.

Hazlett will use a 23-ton crane to lower tree parts to the ground as they’re cut, according to Proper, who noted that work is expected to start around 7 a.m.

The tree’s age, which is believed to be between 100 and 150 years, will be revealed today when rings on its trunk can be counted.