Old oak trees removed from Slappey Blvd. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Old oak trees removed from Slappey Blvd.

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Water Gas & Light and Albany City crews worked to remove four large oak trees on Slappey Boulevard that have been growing into the power lines on Friday, and it's a big step for some area leaders.

It's a project that Judy Bowles with Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful has been working towards for 15 years.

"The live oaks are planted up under our power lines and we love our majestic oaks, but we also love our utilities," said Bowles. "So we just have the wrong tree planted in the wrong place."

While no one wants to remove the trees, they say it's necessary for public safety.

"I love trees too, but these trees were planted years and years ago when things were really really different," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. "And so when they are planted in the right of way and they get too big, they are an obstruction for the power lines."

"I'm a tree advocate and my office is overseeing the planting of over 8,000 trees in the last 23 years, since I've been doing this job. And the only reason we're taking these down is because they're so severely pruned that they can never look normal," said Bowles.

The trees, which are between 75 and 100 years old, will be replaced with seven crepe myrtle trees.

"They're going to do whatever they have to do so that you don't know the oaks were there and that the crepe myrtles are planted and look like that was the plan from the beginning," she said.

The project is being funded through the city of Albany.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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