The iconic Big-Leaf Maple in Violet LaPlante Park will be removed January 9. After five years of close care and inspection, the maple will be removed due to a widening crack in the tree base.
On January 6, Parks Department was alerted that the tree had some limbs fall, and upon inspection, it was revealed that the crack at the base had widened to a point where it was no longer prudent to leave it standing. Therefore, after notifying City Council, staff has directed Arbor Care Tree Service to remove the tree, anticipated to be done this Thursday, January 9. Staff will be working with Arbor Care to preserve portions of the wood in order to memorialize the tree in some form that can be used for community benefit.
Tree crack in 2019
The crack was first noticed in November 2015 and the Parks Department has been monitoring the tree closely since then. The crack was the result of the tree having grown with two opposing stems that formed a wide “U” shape, something not structurally ideal for a tree of its size and age. Staff at the time worked with Arbor Care Tree Service to come up with a plan that would extend the life of the tree without increasing the risk of failure and potentially injuring a park user. Utilizing a cable system to bind the two opposing stems to each other, and to a third adjacent tree, it was estimated that another 5-10 years could be added to the tree’s longevity.
Tree crack in 2015
After employing this method and acknowledging that it was a temporary solution, a replacement tree of the same species was planted in a nearby location in the park in 2016, ensuring that the character of the site was preserved for future generations.