VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Eight years after receiving an award from the City of Valdosta for arboreal preservation Brad Adams of Adams Orthodontics received a citation for the improper pruning of his six crepe myrtle trees.
The letter stated the trees were in violation of city ordinance and Adams would have to 'Remove 6 damaged trees, Replant 6 Small Canopy trees.'
"We had two choices, we can either cut the trees down and replace them or go to court and face a fine or jail time," explains Adams.
The city says the ordinance is in place to protect the trees.
"The city of Valdosta maintains a tree ordinance and it's to protect the value of trees in our community," says Sementha Mathews with Valdosta public information.
She says improper pruning is actually damaging to the tree.
Adams says they've pruned their trees the same way for seven years. He doesn't understand what's different now.
"We've done it like that forever and it's crazy. I mean if they're not pruned correctly let's let them grow back and then lets prune them the proper way next year," urges Adams.
The trees at Adams' business must go, but the city is working to educate business owners and landscapers on proper pruning.
"We're going to have some workshops that address the proper way to prune a tree," Mathews says.
She also says the rules aren't out of the ordinary.
"If you look at ordinances in different cities you'll find that they have the same ordinance," explains Mathews.
Adams met with a city arborist who told him he still has to replace the trees and Adams says it will cost him $1,650.
He isn't happy to lose his trees, but is thankful for the support he has received.
"we've had a lot of support from the community so I really appreciate that"