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Local News

February 20, 2014

'Rain gardens' to replace old trees on Main

As the warmer weather approaches; people will begin to work in their gardens. The village of Cooperstown has similar plans as they will begin construction on their sidewalks, replace street trees and install “rain gardens."

The project includes removing the street trees on Main Street from the traffic light to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The street lamps will also be refurbished and converted for energy-saving LED lights and new sidewalks and pavers will be installed.

The resolution to remove the trees was made by the Tree Committee and the Streets and Buildings Committee.

“Removing and replacing the current street trees was a difficult decision,” said Cynthia Falk, chair of the Village Streets and Buildings Committee in a media release.

“We know that taking out the trees is not the most popular decision,” Falk said in an interview on Friday.

However, if the trees were not removed they might not be able to survive the work. The average life of a street tree is 10 years and several of the Main Street trees have lived well beyond that, Falk said.

Also, the current trees are showing signs of aging such as splits, and “construction work would cause a major disturbance to their root systems, negatively affecting their ability to thrive after the project,” Falk wrote in the media release.

The new trees will be planted below the sidewalk and will be selected to help with storm water management, Falk said in the media release.

The plan is to use a variety of species for the replacement street trees. Some of the species they are considering are Hybrid Elms, Ginkgos, Hybrid Sycamores, Honey Locust and Hawthorns.

“We are trying to find species that can handle water, salt, aren’t messy and don’t have thorns,” Falk said.

“There are a whole bunch of considerations and we’re avoiding invasive species as well,” she continued.

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