Neighbors Want No More Trees Taken Down On Baker Avenue

Commission To Vote On Downtown Safety Plan (Image 1)

Its left neighbors stumped two big oaks taken down on Baker Avenue near the old Lamar Elementary school.

“I was a little upset, no shade that's the main thing it made like a tunnel affect and now it's gone,” says Bryan Rockefeller, who lives next to where the trees stood.

The city is putting in sidewalks on the street, and engineers say not only were the trees in the way of the work, they were in bad shape and deemed hazards.

“We're an old city and we have a lot of old trees and a lot of them need removal unfortunately they are past their live spans and those two were,” said Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell. 

 It is now too late for two of these oaks that use to provide shade here on Baker Avenue but what is worrying some is there's another tree that appears to be in the cross hairs.

Roy Simkins is chairman of the Augusta Tree Commission and says there's no reason the tree should be marked for removal, it's perfectly healthy.

“But to destroy these trees to put in a sidewalk I can't understand why a sidewalk or new sidewalk is more important than the existence of these beautiful trees,” said Simkins.

“Just Making a sidewalk I figured they could go around them so I'm not to happy about it,” says Rockefeller.

But though the oak got the marked to be removed city engineers say after a second look it will stay standing.

“We mark them as possible removals they did and we checked them out we looked a little deeper at all three of them the two really needed to go but that one had some life left in it,” says Cassell. 

“Oh it's going to stay I'm happy about that I wish they would have let those stay I guess it's too late for that now,” says Rockefeller.

Simkins says based on the condition of the stumps one of the trees needed to be removed but the other appeared healthy.

But old tree do cause a lot of problems in Augusta and Cassell says the city is stepping up efforts to take them down with three on Highland Avenue between Walton Way and Wrightsboro Road now being considered for removal.

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