FAYETTEVILLE — There are laws on the books to protect Fayetteville's historic buildings. The city now wants to take the ordinance a step further. The council approved a proposal Monday to protect the city's trees.
Fayetteville city planners proposed a plan to care for trees on public land.
"I think it shows the city is dedicated to improving the appearance of the city and the environment," says Jimmy Teal, chief planning officer. "It shows pride in the community."
The ordinance covers how trees should be pruned, planted and removed. It comes after concerns about the way some utility crews cleared branches around power lines. The proposal would keep workers from removing the tops of trees.
Sally Pomer was upset when the city proposed to cut down trees along Hay Street. That idea was eventually nixed, but she is still concerned about the way they were pruned. She hopes an ordinance will keep trees healthy and whole.
"If you have an ordinance, there's going to be greater and greater care," she says. "Having trees grow to be beautiful for every generation, and when the days are done, make sure they are cut down with dignity and replaced."
The rules will also help the city become a Tree City USA. The designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation can provide tree planting grants.
Forester Marshall Hartsfield says protecting all trees will do more than just make the city more beautiful.
"They reduce the extreme of temperatures. For example in the summertime, asphalt, concrete and buildings heat up and trees work to prevent that," he says. "They also improve air quality."
Under the ordinance, people could be fined if they do not adhere to the rules.