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Sandy Fire District removes non-native trees from property

Trees at corner raise safety concerns


On Friday, May 20, the Sandy Fire District removed numerous trees on its property because of safety concerns.

The fire district said the trees, which were located at the corner of Bruns Avenue and Proctor Boulevard, were a non-native species and had a shallow root system spreading more than 40 feet in each direction.

The city of Sandy hired an arborist to evaluate the trees, which were found to be in average condition. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: SHANNON BROWN - A worker cuts down one of numerous trees on the Sandy Fire District property last week after the non-native trees were judged to be unsafe. Of special concern was the possibility that the trees could splinter and fall into nearby Proctor Boulevard. The trees will be replanted with trees from the city of Sandys approved tree list.

The arborist also recommended not disturbing the tree roots. In the past, the fire district made modifications to its sidewalk and retaining wall to create more space for the trees, as it was deemed the trees were creating hazardous sidewalk conditions.

On April 25, district officials appeared before the city’s planning commission to seek approval for its station remodel and to discuss removal of the trees. Upon review of the arborist’s report with city officials, the planning commission voted to allow the tree removal, especially with an eye to the threat of the tree tops splitting and falling into the power lines on Proctor Boulevard.

“According to the arborist report these trees would continue to grow and could double in diameter,” said Sandy Fire Chief Phil Schneider.

Wood from the trees will be donated to the Sandy Kiwanis Club for its firewood program, and the fire district will work with the city to determine what will be placed in the spot once occupied by the trees. The landscaping plan for the remodeled fire station includes more than a dozen new trees from the city’s approved tree list.

“Although this decision has been difficult for all of us, in the end we all recognize these are simply the wrong trees in the wrong location,” Schneider said. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: SHANNON BROWN - Lumber from the trees removed at the corner of Bruns Avenue and Proctor Boulevard will be donated to the Sandy Kiwanis Club for its firewood program. Sandy Fire Chief Paul Schneider said the tree removal decision was a difficult one to make, but ultimately they were simply the wrong trees in the wrong place.