Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Zachary tree of life, dead

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ZACHARY - A live oak tree in the middle of Zachary is set to be cut down after arborists say it's exceeded its life and has become a safety hazard to the city.

Mayor David Amrhein is seeking a fourth opinion on the fate of the 100-year-old live oak located on Main St. in the heart of town. Amrhein says, "it could be a danger to drivers and pedestrians."

"We've had branches start to fall, you just don't want an accident to happen," Amrhein continued.

The tree has already been inspected by Georgia Pacific's Forestry Division, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry as well as local tree service.

Amrhein is waiting for a fourth opinion from Southern University's Urban Forestry Division. So far, the inspectors say the tree is dead and should be removed before it falls.

"She's reached her final resting time," said La. Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry Arborist Bret Lane. "These are living creatures also, you know, they're born, they grow, they pass."

In the last week, about a dozen limbs have been removed as recommended by tree specialists. Lane says the tree is rotting and can no longer bring nutrients up the trunk to the top of the tree.

The tree is a place for many people to take shelter and shade. Rev. Faye McEntyre grew up in Zachary and has spent many days below the tree, writing or sitting with her children.

"It's just a beautiful scenery, just even passing by," said McEntyre. "Sometimes just want to get away, and just come and sit there."

Amrhein says if the city does take it down, a new live oak will be planted in it's place. No date when the final decision will be made.






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