Rapid City community outreach spurs new tree removal and trimming plan

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Plans came out Monday as Rapid City announced the removal and and trimming back of trees along West Chicago Street to avoid interference with power lines.

Ann EadsResidents didn’t like what they heard and now, thanks to city leaders, a new plan has emerged.

“There’s a ton of traffic that goes to and from work on this. A lot of the tourists that ride their motorcycles up into the Hills, they ride along this because it’s a very pretty place,” Rapid City Resident Ann Eads said. “And I just think that people love the trees. They add so much.”

As part of the new plan, the number of trees to be removed was lowered substantially to 10. Others will be trimmed to maintain a maximum 10 to 12 feet in height to avoid any dangers brought on by the power lines.

“What we’re looking to do is diversify the plants that are over there. We’re also looking to stay under that minimum approach distance to the power lines,” Landscape and Forestry Supervisor Jason Preble said. “That is the driving force anyhow. So, when we replant, we’re going to try and keep that in mind throughout the process.”

As far as tree removal goes, the Parks Department has no particular cluster of trees along the route in mind.

Instead, Preble was out marking 10 trees in the worst condition he could see spread across the area, looking for signs such as storm damage and girdling roots.

Girdling roots are roots that wrap around the base of a tree, choking the trunk. One of many key determinants that the tree is unhealthy.

Once the trees are removed, officials plan to replace the trees with new vegetation.

Preble has several types in mind. Some bearing fruit, or having seasonal colors, but plans to keep the visual appeal of the neighborhood alive.

“With the crabapples, we were looking at a one to two-week bloom,” Preble said. “And I think we can extend that bloom period out throughout most of the summer.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News