Money for Central Park trees has also been donated to the Parks Department, according to Andy Dorian, Parks Department director, who was a guest at this week’s Tree Board meeting.

Donations continue to come in that are earmarked for the purchase of trees to help restore the tree canopy of Hannibal’s Central Park.

Tree Board President Kristy Trevathan reported during that group’s Dec. 6 meeting at city hall that enough cash has been pledged by local civic groups and individuals to purchase “six, seven or eight” trees.

“There are more who want to give,” said Trevathan, who indicated in June that it would be a “good start” if enough donations could be raised to cover the cost of from five to 10 new trees.

Money for Central Park trees has also been donated to the Parks Department, according to Andy Dorian, Parks Department director, who was a guest at this week’s Tree Board meeting.

The purchase and planting of new trees in the old park will not occur until the spring of 2018.

“We’ll maybe have a larger Arbor Day celebration,” said Trevathan, referring to the city’s annual observance in late April of that tree-focused day.

A lingering question is where exactly will the new trees be planted in Hannibal’s oldest park. The Tree Board has a copy of a tree survey that was conducted in the downtown park in 2005. That map is dotted with locations where trees once stood and which offer possible sites where new trees could be planted.

It was also recommended that when potential planting sites are taken into consideration they be compared with a map of the spaces that are utilized each year during the July 4th celebration by the Kiwanis Club for its annual Samuel L. Clemens Arts and Crafts Festival.

“We know there are (currently) empty spots that worked (as tree sites) before that didn’t bother the Kiwanis Club,” said Trevathan.

Concern for the tree canopy of Central Park was initially voiced in June after the tree survey conducted in the 1-acre park in the early 2000s was reviewed. It revealed that the number of trees in Central Park has dropped from 56 over a decade ago to approximately 30 today.

A major reason for the tree loss was the storm on May 20, 2013. Among the trees that were toppled or damaged beyond saving throughout town by that night’s high winds were seven in Central Park.

In May of this year the Parks Department had five Central Park trees removed, three of which were dead. Two others – a pair of sycamores located between the sidewalk and curb on the far eastern end of the park – also had to be cut down because their roots were damaging the nearby sidewalk.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com