New courthouse trees should be in by end of month

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

Town decides to keep with original sugar maple plan

The front of the Polk County Courthouse should be landscaped with trees by the end of February.

The former Bradford Pear trees that lined the front of the courthouse had to be removed last fall due to breakage. At one point last year, town council discussed the possibility of not replacing the trees, instead possibly planting shrubs there due to the view of the courthouse.

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The town has decided to go with its original plan to replace the Bradford Pears with Sugar Maples, in keeping with the courthouse’s history.

Columbus Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe said the town decided to go ahead with its original plan to plant eight Sugar Maples with the town currently awaiting word from a nursery regarding the status of the trees. He said he hopes to have the trees planted by the end of the month at the latest.

The town is working with Polk County Cooperative Extension Director John Vining on the replacement plan. The town decided to replace the Bradford Pears with Sugar Maples due in part to the maples being strong trees but mainly for tradition.

Sugar maples were planted in front of the courthouse in the 1944-1945 timeframe in honor of veterans who served in World War II. The sugar maples lined the front of the courthouse for approximately 40 years before the Bradford Pears replaced then in 1984 by the Columbus Revitalization Committee.

The town plans to purchase approximate 2-inch diameter trees between 12 and 18 feet in height. Town council has said previously it does not want to plant the trees close to the courthouse’s stairs as the Bradford Pears were so as not to detract from the view.