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03/06/20 - Waxhaw, N.C. – After multiple recommendations from certified Arborists about imminent public safety concerns, the Town of Waxhaw has come to the conclusion that the willow oak tree rooted in the parking lot on E. South Main Street, across the street from Maxwell’s Tavern in downtown Waxhaw (pictured right), must be taken down.
Over a period of several years, Public Services and Parks & Recreation staff have worked closely with Union County Urban Forester to monitor the health of the willow tree and evaluate any safety risks associated with its health. During this time, the trunk of the tree began hollowing. In 2019, a Resistograph revealed that a considerable amount of hollowing exists about four feet above the ground, compromising the tree’s ability to support its limb structure and weight.
To explore every possibility of saving the tree, the town sought a second opinion from Bartlett Tree Experts to assess the tree. The goal of Bartlett Tree Experts is to preserve and save every tree when possible, so the town hoped they would be able to provide a solution that would save the tree without risking the safety of the public, which is ultimately the town’s top priority. Unfortunately, in their report, Bartlett Tree Experts gave the tree a high risk rating of tree failure and impact.
In an assessment in February 2020, the Union County Forester concluded that “In an effort to try and save the tree, we have batted the idea of removing the large limb over the road, exposing a large already hollow trunk and still having a hollow, distorted tree that could possibly drop large branches, causing injury to people or damage to vehicles. Reluctantly, but prudently, we decided to offer these findings to the Town of Waxhaw to make public and notify all of the necessity to remove this tree.” You may access the full report from the Union County Urban Forester here.
To address the most immediate safety risk, on Friday, March 6th, Waxhaw’s Public Services staff removed the large branch hanging over E. South Main St. Within the next month, the town plans to have the tree removed from its location on E. South Main Street for the safety of our residents, visitors, and business owners in downtown Waxhaw.
Due to its decaying nature, the tree cannot be used as lumber, but the town plans to recycle the tree as mulch to be used throughout the community. In the Fall, another tree will be planted in downtown Waxhaw to preserve the beloved landscape that makes our Main Street beautiful and memorable for our residents and visitors.
Full reports on the willow oak tree in Downtown Waxhaw can be viewed below:
Union County Urban Forester Report – February 2020 – https://www.waxhaw.com/DocumentCenter/View/4324/Waxhaw_Railroad_Crossing_Tree_2020_Summary
Bartlett Tree Experts Tree Risk Assessment & Recommendations – August 2019 – https://www.waxhaw.com/DocumentCenter/View/4325/Waxhaw_Railroad_Crossing_Tree_2019_BartlettSummary
Union County Urban Forester Report – July 2013 – https://www.waxhaw.com/DocumentCenter/View/4326/Waxhaw_Railroad_Crossing_Tree-_2013_Summary
The Town of Waxhaw is located south of Charlotte, North Carolina in Union County. The town has grown tremendously over the last decade to become a popular hub of restaurants, retail, and community events. The town was incorporated in 1889 and celebrated its 130th anniversary in March 2019.