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City Workers Hack & Kill Trees on Hull Street

For those of you that drive down Hull Street, this is going to be old news. Last year when the mature crepe myrtles were in full bloom, City of Richmond workers came on trucks with chainsaws and cut all the blooms off the trees.

I was upset while I watched them cut because the trees were old and beautiful. But I was also concerned because they were cutting so low. I was nearly certain they were going to kill the trees. But I decided to bite my tongue. I was afraid of being met with claims that they would grow back, I wasn’t an arborist, and I didn’t know what I was talking about. So I didn’t say anything at the time.

Well, unfortunately my concerns have come to fruition. The trees are hacked to pieces. The survivors are maimed shells of their former selves, and most are now dead. Adding to the woes, the massive cutting has inspired shoots to sprout from the base of the trees. These shoots create a bit of an upside down tree that blocks all lines of sight down the sidewalk. The police hate this, as they cannot see down the block when they patrol the area or are searching for someone. It is a significant safety concern. In fact, last year the police started trimming the shoots themselves so they could improve the safety and appearance of Hull Street.

It is too bad that former Mayor Jones’ arborist crew created this new problem for Hull Street. We are working so hard to bring the street back to life. Last year’s volunteer crew who planted 100 tress throughout Manchester including the empty tree wells along Hull St were an inspiration. In fact, volunteers are giving their free time on weekends to water the newly planted trees for the second year in a row in order to make sure they survive.

Now we are in need of new trees yet again thereby creating an unnecessary expense. Let’s hope Mayor Stoney addresses this problem by replacing the trees the City workers killed and puts the city arborist crew through what appears to be some badly needed tree maintenance training.

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36 thoughts on “City Workers Hack & Kill Trees on Hull Street

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  1. Wow! I wonder what really happened? Usually it’s the city gardeners that trim ornamentals, not tree division. Maybe a subcontractor? The only solution is to pull them up and start over. They will never be right. And maybe pick a different tree than a crepe since, no matter what, they will send up suckers that will have to be maintained.

  2. I wonder if it was the grass crew making use of down time? Just trying to make sense of this! I used to be a gardener for the city and at least back then, they would have never cut a crepe so drastically.

  3. Fisher Laura , there are crepe myrtles up and down Hull, along with Cherry. The crepes were specifically chosen by the city because they wouldn’t interfere with power lines as they won’t grow tall enough to cause trouble. These were mature crepes and were thriving for many, many years. They literally cut all the blooms off and filled dozens of overflowing dump trucks with pink blooms. Totally nonsensical.

  4. I am by no means saying it was right to cut them. I’m wondering why they did it. Did a citizen complain? Something happen that made the city react. They don’t just randomly run around cutting down plants. Someone complained about something. Crepes aren’t good plants for urban tree wells. They get stressed and put up suckers that create sight hazards. Look at Semmes Ave.

  5. I always thought crepes (ones chosen for their height when fully mature) would make for good plantings under power lines because they could be trimmed back somewhat aggressively (and at the appropriate time of the year) and still return with beautiful flowers the next season. Something that doesn’t happen with trees planed in the same situation.

  6. On what date did this occur? A few photographs of the trucks and crews doing this would have been most helpful.

  7. Henrico is just as bad. They spent all kinds of money planting trees down the middle of Staples Mill last year (near the Hanover line), but this year no pruning of base shoots was done so the only blooms originate from the bottom of the tree instead of the bare tops.

    Nothing burns me up more than spending money to beautify an area and then NEVER taking care of it. The Boulevard was completely re-done (between Broad and the I-95 entrance) before the UCI, and had been completely redone only a few years earlier – both “re-dos” because it was NEVER maintained – and still isn’t being maintained. Simple things that a government just cannot do well.

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