The removal of 60 trees in Azalea Park is scheduled to begin within the next two weeks.
Trees slated for removal are considered hazardous or are shading-out the native azaleas in the Park
The tree removal is part of a work plan approved by the Brookings City Council last year.
The work plan includes the removal of hazardous trees, including large Douglas Fir in specified areas of the park, and the removal of dead and dying trees within a forest preservation area.
"Many of the large fir trees in the park have split trunks, broken tops and deadwood hanging from them which pose a threat to park visitors" said Mayor Jake Pieper.
The work plan focus is on the removal of hazard trees that fall within a criterion established following a public workshop where Oregon State Forester (Urban Forester) Kristen Ramstad presented literature published by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) titled "How To Recognize and Prevent Tree Hazards". Listed in this publication are eight warning signs used in identifying tree hazards.
Based on the eight warning signs, Mayor Pieper said City staff identified trees in the park that fall under the criterion of "hazard trees". The condition of the identified trees pose a threat to the safety of park visitors.
In addition to their hazardous condition, they are unattractive and are shading more attractive trees and Azalea plants in the park.
In September 2015, 38 large Douglas Fir trees were removed in the park along Lundeen Road. The tree removal was requested by Coos Curry Electric Cooperative (CCEC) after a tree fell during a storm in December 2014 that barely missed a 115,000 volt transmission line and a 7,200 volt distribution line that run along Lundeen Road. A plan to replant the area with a lower growing species of tree is planned for fall of this year
Citing public safety, the City Council approved the tree removal work plan. In some areas the large fir trees will be replaced with smaller species trees and vegetation where in other areas understory trees and vegetation already exists. The City will contract with Western Tree Service to remove the trees to be sold with proceeds used to pay the contractor for the removal project.
It is estimated that there are over 1,000 trees and 1,000 Azaleas in Azalea Park. The trees to be removed are Douglas Fir, with some of the trees estimated at over 70 feet tall.
Extensive tree removal at Azalea Park also occurred in 2006 as part of a State program to combat the spread of Sudden Oak Death Disease. The disease has also been found to infect Douglas Fir. The area was replanted with species not affected by the disease