Despite rockier-than-hoped-for soil, the city of Hannibal’s notion of starting its own tree farm is still alive.
The proposed site of the farm is on flood-buyout property near the Bowling Avenue and Carr Street intersection, where a mobile home park once was located.
In September, when discussion the idea at a Tree Board meeting, City Manager Jeff LaGarce said the contractor in charge of removing old mobile homes from the site would provide the city with a scouting report on the soil. In November, the city manager told a joint meeting of the City Council and Park Board that there “was a lot of rock” discovered at the site.
Despite the rocks, LaGarce is not ready to write off the possibility of the city starting its own tree farm.
“We’re studying whether trees will work there,” wrote LaGarce in an e-mail to the Courier-Post. “These trees would be transplanted ‘from’ this area after about three years, so they would not be expected to survive in that soil as mature trees. It still may be possible; we don’t yet know.”
One of the proposed site’s pluses is its proximity to Bear Creek. It is hoped the waterway can be utilized as a water source. LaGarce envisions the earth being graded in such a way so as to allow water pumped in to reach all the trees that are planted, and not just those nearest the stream.
The trees would be purchased through a program offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“The trees are very inexpensive,” LaGarce told the members of the Park Board and Council.
According to the city manager, 250 trees can be purchased for $80.
While the site would eventually serve as the temporary home for 580 trees, they would be planted and “harvested” after a few years in phases.
LaGarce has stressed that any trees grown by the city would not be sold to the general public, so as to not compete with any private businesses. Trees raised by the city would be used to replace dead and dying trees on city-owned land, such as in parks and other flood-buyout lots, and right-of-ways along street corridors.