Removal of trees in Ybor City called murder

6:01 PM, Sep 25, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Some business owners are calling the removal of 110 mature trees in Ybor City "murder."

Crews started removing the trees in the Latin Quarter on Friday.

"We went and did a personal count, and 93 trees were cut down or murdered here in Ybor City," said President of the GaYBOR District Coalition, Carrie West.

The city says the trees were chopped down and will be replaced as part of a beautification plan.

"Most of the trees had some sort of defect," Parks and Recreation Director Greg Bayor told 10 News.

Bayor says problems with the trees included root systems that were causing sidewalks to buckle, trees growing into power lines and some that were diseased.

Tampa is spending $422,000 to replace trees in the city, including $112,000 just in Ybor City. 

When asked if any of the trees could have been relocated or sold, Bayor said that was not an option. But he did admit the city should have done a better job communicating with Ybor City businesses and residents who were shocked to see the trees being cut down on Friday.

"Let's just say we're looking into how the notification did go. I can certainly say we can do better, and we have to do better in the future. I'm not going to point fingers, but we will certainly do better (in the future)."

Bayor says all the new trees are crape myrtle, olive trees or palms. He says they should be planted by mid-October, with most measuring 10 to 12 feet in height.

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