Downtown Clinton is loosing its “Town Oak Tree” that has stood near the intersection of Broad and Main for many years. City Manager Frank Stovall reports a large limb fell from the tree Friday, February 21st, damaging the Depot building. He said city personnel with advanced training in tree car noted other structural defects in the tree. He noted special care has been taken of the tree over the past ten years, but increasing decay and structural defects led to calling in a certified professional tree expert. The ISA Certified Arborist determined the tree was in imminent danger of loosing a large, heavy portion, which could result in injury to pedestrians and people in passing cars on Main and Broad.
Specially trained personnel from the Department of Public Works Electric Distribution Division were to begin the removal of the tree Friday afternoon. Removal was expected to take several days as it must be done in a very careful and coordinated manner to prevent a structural collapse from occurring during the removal, jeopardizing the safety of city employees.
Last Friday, City Manager Frank Stovall noted “While it saddens the Mayor, Council, and staff of the City of Clinton to lose this beautiful part of our downtown, we must place the lives of our citizens first and foremost, and it is out of a desire to ensure the safety of the public that this decision to remove the tree was made.” The Public is encouraged to maintain their distance from the tree until the area is safe.
The City intends to conduct an appropriate ceremony to replace the tree during the next Arbor Day Celebration.