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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Planting of maple trees downtown was surprise

  • It came as no surprise that the planting of trees along Main Street was a part of the city of Hannibal’s downtown improvement project. What did come as a surprise was that not all the trees were not Skyline Locust.
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  • It came as no surprise that the planting of trees along Main Street was a part of the city of Hannibal’s downtown improvement project. What did come as a surprise was that not all the trees were not Skyline Locust.
    Since discussions began about including the planting of trees after new sidewalk was poured, Skyline Locust were preferred for a handful of reasons:
    • They have held their own during recent drought conditions.
    • Unlike trees such as sweet gums, the locust will not leave behind a major mess each year.
    • Locust trees do not appeal to birds as a nesting site, resulting in less bird droppings beneath them.
    However, when the subcontractor showed up last month to plant the trees, approximately 15 of the 35 trees were maples.
    “It was a little different than we had planned for,” said Tree Board chairwoman Kristy Trevathan.
    Following a quick huddle with the project’s contractor, Bleigh Construction, decisions were made regarding where to plant the maples, which have the potential of growing taller and fuller than the locust.
    Eight of the maples were planted in sidewalk openings where there’s no electrical pedestals. Others were placed in areas not adjacent to buildings.
    Trevathan added that some merchants in the 100 block of North Main actually preferred having maples planted by their businesses over the locust.
    “It (Main Street) will be stunning in the fall,” said Trevathan, adding that the trees planted were taller than expected.
    “It was money well spent,” said Ed Tamerius, Tree Board member, adding the contractor did a good job planting the trees.
    Tamerius noted that some of the new trees already need to be pruned.
    “There are some low limbs that could pose a problem,” he said.
    That tree trimming, however, won’t happen until after the holiday lights are taken down. The tree lights, which were purchased by the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council, have helped make North Main a “showcase” at night, according to City Manager Jeff LaGarce.
    One question posed during last week’s Tree Board meeting was: Who will be responsible for trimming the trees?
    “It needs to be someone knowledgeable in tree pruning,” said Trevathan.
    LaGarce proposed having members of the Street Department perform the task with “someone knowledgeable” supervising.
    Pruning will not be the new trees’ only need.
    “We’ll have to be vigilant about watering,” said Trevathan.
    It’s unclear at this time if that task will fall to Street or Parks and Recreation personnel.

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