Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

April 14, 2014

Tree of Distinction?

CROSSVILLE — In the articles on Trees of Distinction, the Crossville Tree Board usually highlights a tree in the community that is an exemplary specimen of the species. This article is about a tree that will never become a Tree of Distinction. In the photo is a sugar maple (Acer saccharum). The sugar maple is Crossville’s official tree, and this particular sugar maple was planted along Hwy. 127 North, between Crossville and I-40, as part of a beautification project. The Crossville Tree Board secured a grant to purchase the trees and the city of Crossville negotiated with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to allow the trees to be planted on the TDOT right-of-way, thus making these trees property of the city of Crossville.

Sometime in February of this year some unknown person topped this tree, or had it topped, virtually destroying it. Topping is not an approved or recommended method of pruning a tree. In fact, topping a tree is not pruning at all. A number of articles and pamphlets have been written about the reasons not to top trees. The arbitrary removal of limbs will lead to future problems such as decay, storm damage and a disfigured appearance. Ultimately, topping damages a tree severely, and will lead to the premature death of the tree.

A number of trees in Crossville have been topped recently, notably at Cumberland Medical Center and Cornerstone Baptist Church. Those trees are on private property and the owners of the property have the right to severely damage their trees if they so wish. But this is not the case with the sugar maple on 127 North. If you are a business or homeowner along 127 North between Crossville and I-40, the trees planted in the right-of-way are not your property and you do not have the right to do anything to them. If you have a problem with any of these trees, please contact Eric Brady, who is the storm water manager and certified arborist for the city of Crossville. If you are a business that performs tree-topping services and you are asked to top any tree along this section of right-of-way along 127 North you should find out definitively if the tree is on the TDOT right-of-way. If it is, and you top it, you are liable for damage to city property, along with the person who hired you.

The Crossville Tree Board requests that the person or persons responsible for topping the sugar maple along Hwy. 127 North contact any member of the Tree Board.

Trees of Distinction are selected quarterly by the Crossville Tree Board, and articles about them are published in the Crossville Chronicle. This endeavor is to promote awareness of the importance of trees in the local environment.  

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