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What Happened to the Pavilion Trees?

An arborist is investigating why four trees at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion were dying.

On Wednesday morning, crews took down four locust trees that were installed amid the paving bricks at the in downtown Farmington.

In place for about six years, the trees have been slowly dying, said Farmington Downtown Development Authority Director Annette Knowles.

"It looks, preliminarily, like there was some sort of disease on the trees," she said. "The others in the Downtown Farmington Center are healthy and doing very well."

Knowles said Sue Grissim, a consultant with landscape architects Grissim Metz Andriese Associates, "was very concerned (about the trees), because it was their design." Grissim tracked down an arborist, David Roberts of Michigan State University Extension, who is examining the trees to determine what went wrong.

"They definitely want to stand behind their work," Knowles said of the company.

Roberts will be reimbursed for his mileage; otherwise, there is no cost to the DDA for his services.

Knowles said she's waiting to hear from Roberts before deciding what to do next.

"We are looking at a couple of alternatives. I was hesitant to authorize replacement until we know what went wrong," she said.

Kirk McVittie July 08, 2011 at 12:08 PM
What a coincidence! Sandra and I have discussed some of the dying trees we have seen around Downtown during our walks this week!
marilyn lennis July 17, 2011 at 01:19 PM
City trees have a rough life. Cars, concrete, pedestrians all can stress trees. Honey Locusts are usual a good choice for urban environments, although they do have a number of common insect pests. Look at the site for the trees that died: a 6 foot by 6 foot patch of soil among pavers. The site is dry, hot in summer and people step on the roots. If you were a tree would you thrive there? Marilyn Lennis Horticulturist

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