Three Hazardous Tree to be Removed

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COLUMBIA - Even with all the rain this year, the effects of last year's drought are still being felt. City staff will soon remove three dead trees in two Columbia parks.

Monday night the city council voted to remove a pin oak tree in Cosmo Park, and a black oak and black walnut tree in Stephens Lake Park.

"We have to remove those trees which had suffered from the drought, and aren't viable any more," Brett O'Brien, Columbia's park natural resources supervisor, said.

The black oak in Stephens Lake Park is on the hill right next to the Amphitheater. It only has a 10% living crown and has shown visible signs of wounds,decay and cavity in the branches and root crown.

"It had been hit by the lightning years ago," O'Brien said, "so it is already stressed. Yet the drought is kind of pushing it a little to the edge."

O'Brien said public safety is one of the most important factors when deciding whether to remove the tree. Since those trees are near public activity areas, branches can easily fall and hurt people.

O'Brien said besides the three, other smaller trees are also affected and would be removed soon. He said the city had planned to plant new trees in place of the removed ones.

To view the full tree hazard evaluation form, please visit the city's website.

A slideshow of corresponding photos is available at