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City removes trees causing pavement upheaval downtown, plans to replace

Main Street will look slightly less green for a little while as the City of Winchester has recently removed invasive trees from the sidewalks.

Donnie Campbell of T&T Tree Service said a crew worked Saturday morning to remove the last of five trees — two from North Main Street and three from South Main Street. Crews cut the trees and then ground out the stumps.

Shanda Cecil, Winchester Tree Board chairman, said the trees were removed because the roots were growing into the sidewalks causing upheaval of the pavement.

However, the trees will be replaced with more appropriate trees once some repairs can be made to the sidewalks, she said.

“When we are able to replace the trees, we will be using some new technology that will improve the condition of the trees downtown,” Cecil said.

Cecil said root cells will be used that will give the trees adequate water, nutrition and space for roots to grow while also preventing the roots from growing into the nearby sidewalks and sewer lines below.

“In keeping with the Downtown Master Plan, we wanted to get these trees out, repair our sidewalks to make room for future sidewalk work and replant trees that will benefit the downtown area,” she said.

According to a factsheet provided by Cecil, “The Winchester Image Improvements Plan (2011) and Downtown Master Plan (2017) recommend implementing streetscapes that include trees in the downtown area. Both plans were created with input from the public, including downtown business and property owners. The goal of both plans is to create a welcoming downtown atmosphere that encourages commerce and increases quality of life.”

The factsheet also shares information about why tree are beneficial to the downtown area, including carbon absorption, air quality improvement, cooling effects and even crime reduction.

Trees also improve property prices by as much as 15 percent and encourage careful driving, according to the sheet.

As of now, there is no firm timeline on when new trees will be planted.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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