Citing safety concerns, Newburgh’s famous canopy will be cut down the middle this week. Dozens of trees will be chopped to give power lines room to breathe.
Many people in town will have a hard time saying good-bye to this “welcome home” they’ve come to love for decades.
Vectren workers say trees on the north side aren't safe and in the way of power lines.
Tree trimmers will close State Road 662 near Ellerbusch Road between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Cars will have to detour north to Willow Pond Road between Ellerbusch and Frame Road.
Trees on the south side of 662 will remain to provide some shade.
Losing the beloved trees is a hard pill to swallow for Newburgh Town Council member Stacie Krieger. She works 100 yards from the canopy at LNB Community Bank. She can’t bear to watch the chainsaws start in the morning.
“I hate they have to come down,” she says.
Krieger says the trees bring you home. “You just feel peaceful, you feel relaxed, you can feel the stress going away and it's been like that for years.”
If only the trees could be there when the workers start cutting.
“I've been in Newburgh for 30-some-odd years. I love that tree canopy and so does the entire council and all the citizens of the town,” Krieger says, “but we love our citizens more.”
Krieger says an arborist told council the trees were “scrubs,” which is essentially weeds. They're not mighty Sequoias or rich Mahogany's, but these trees are theirs.
“It's going to be very painful,” she says, “I don't even want to watch it.”
The arborist says there’s several reasons the trees need to go. The root system is shallow, so officials are concerned the trees could fall. Also, branches are close to the power lines, so electricity could arc.
The arborist told Krieger new trees wouldn’t be able to survive in rocky soil so close to the road, the town has no plans to re-plant.
You could carve it in bark; if you love something, set it free.
But for most folks, there's hardly any freedom knowing their home will forever have a missing piece.
(This story was originally published May 29, 2018)
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