‘Problem' trees removed with City’s blessing

Duke pruning this week in West Latonia
COVINGTON, Ky. – A contractor for Duke Energy is pruning trees throughout West Latonia this week, and that work will include the removal of nine or so “problem” trees in the public right of way, City of Covington officials said.
The trees to be removed are either structurally weakened, full of decay, or simply the wrong tree for that location and likely to cause problems, said Cassandra Homan, the City’s urban forester in the Public Works Department’s Urban Forestry Division. The “problem” trees are primarily Callery pears, also known as Bradford pears, along with a silver maple or two.
“Lest people think this was accidental or haphazard, these are trees we can no longer justify keeping,” Homan said. “Their removal is best for the long-term management of Covington’s urban forest.”
Homan said any homeowner whose tree is removed in front of their property can email her at to be put on the list for tree planting in the coming year. Foresters match the trees to the location, selecting species that, for example, won’t grow tall enough to interfere with utility lines overhead or wide enough to cause problems.
The pruning area runs throughout West Latonia, with the complete removals primarily in the Southern Avenue and Ashland Avenue area.
The City issued Duke a permit for the work, which is necessary to protect utility lines from being damaged by branches. Homan said this particular crew has been doing a good job of pruning to national standards. Unfortunately, in instances where particularly tall trees are growing through high-energy lines, even those standards can leave a result that is less-than-pleasing aesthetically, she said.
“Little by little, we’re establishing a “right tree, right place” program throughout Covington,” she said. “We’re fixing the errors of past practices, and while it will take a while, we’re establishing greener neighborhoods where trees create a cooler, calmer, and more beautiful atmosphere.”
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