The sad news is a great many of them, especially the Bradford Pears, were dead or dying—or the wrong size for the narrow spaces for planting, or too close to one another, or too close to where car doors open in parking spaces. So they had to come down.

The happy news is that they’re all being replaced this spring, over the next couple of weeks. New trees are being placed at the parking lines so the trees are 22 feet apart and there is no conflict with those car doors. The species that the city is planting are all narrow and only get 15 feet wide and about 35 feet tall. This prevents them from hitting buildings and causing damage. The trees are very upright and allow visibility of the retail establishments and restaurants while giving the beauty and benefits of trees in our downtown.

The species that are being planted are Everclear Elms, Musashino  Zelkovas, and Princeton Sentry Gingkoes. This will create a narrow upright canopy along our streets, helping keep our sidewalks cool, reduce the noise of traffic, and create a welcoming environment for visitors to our downtown. Studies have shown that trees in retail districts increase sales because visitors are more likely to linger and walk in a shady tree environment.

The city will also be adding rubberized mulch to the tree wells to make the walking experience safer for our visitors.