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City delays pear tree replacement discussion

December 11, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council decided Tuesday to delay until at least January a discussion about replacing trees along Potomac Street.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he had no objection to replacing the trees but thinks the discussion should wait until after Christmas since people are still adjusting to the removal of trees elsewhere downtown.

The city has not decided what type of tree would replace the Bradford pear trees.

Thirty-eight trees, mostly Bradford pear trees, were removed from West Franklin Street and West Washington Street in late May as part of the second phase of the Maryland Highway Administration's U.S. 40 Streetscape project.

Most of the trees were replaced in recent months with European hornbeam and ivory silk Japanese tree lilacs, Public Works Director Rodney Tissue has said.

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The city planted Bradford pear trees on Washington, Franklin and Potomac streets, Summit Avenue and at other locations, Tissue said. They were selected because of their spring blooms and fall colors, he said.

But it turned out the trees attract starlings and blackbirds, and have a branch structure that makes them susceptible to wind and storm damage and drop fruit on sidewalks, he said.

The trees at one time were recommended for urban street areas but no longer are, Tissue said.

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