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Fire hydrant trapped in a tree, how the budding problem was fixed

3 months 1 week 1 day ago Tuesday, February 13 2024 Feb 13, 2024 February 13, 2024 10:24 PM February 13, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE -  A budding problem on Fiero Street was fixed Tuesday after a construction crew spotted a tree growing over a fire hydrant, swallowing it whole. They knew without a fix, it could create bigger problems.

Scott Courtright, an arborist with Louisiana Tree Services, says he's been in the tree business for nearly three decades. Over the years, he's watched the transformation happen. 

"Every arborist, every tree person knows the hydrant tree," Courtright said.

The hydrant tree, an arborist urban legend, caught Courtright's attention while he worked on homes nearby. While he's not the one responsible for the tree's maintenance, it was a concern in the community.

An unusable fire hydrant could have caused issues, though Adreinne Mire with the Baton Rouge Water Company says firefighters have enough resources nearby that they wouldn't have relied on the hydrant in an emergency. 

Mire says Baton Rouge Water Company crews were out addressing another concern when they spotted the hydrant tree and got to work upgrading the water line and adding a new hydrant.

"It was a quick fix because they happened to be in the area doing work," Mire said. "They were extending a line already, so they made it to where the foreman looked and said, 'I can do this work - this is a good way to go ahead and upgrade.'"

Still, Courtright says the old tree needs to come down. The tree is dead and limbs are scattered on the ground beneath the branches. Courtright says he's concerned for people walking or driving under the branches. 

"In the tree industry, we say they grow for 30 and die for the next 40," he said. 

As far as the hydrant goes, Mire says the plan is to remove the fixture. The water line is already cut off to the old hydrant. So far there is no timeline of when those changes could happen.

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