The Boulevard Neighborhood Association recently reached out to Rodney Walters, Athens-Clarke County's community forestry coordinator, about the health and safety of the trees in the neighborhood. With recent extreme storms, the group was wondering if there was a need to investigate the trees for any potential issues, or even move to replace less desirable species. Here's what Walters said:
"We have just recently completed a safety review of trees along Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhoods as part of an annual level 1 inspection of the trees. Our approach is to monitor the trees for safety and to remove trees as needed. There are water oaks on Boulevard along with many other tree species, including willow oak, southern black oak, elms, dogwoods, redbuds, and many others."
Walters also said that the condition of the trees along Boulevard is varied, since they represent a range of species and ages. In addition, they are monitored for both their health and structural integrity.
"If a tree is discovered to have to have a defect(s), a level 2 inspection is conducted to assign a safety rating. Trees that are found to have unfavorable safety ratings are mitigated by pruning, cabling, or removal," he added. "When trees are removed, they may or may not be replaced, depending on the location. Athens-Clarke County plants trees every year and, as the community forester, I work with citizens through the Community Tree Council to raise funding for the planting trees beyond what the Athens Clarke County budget allots."
If you have additional questions for Walters, email the BNA and we will compile an additional follow-up email from the neighborhood.