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For Immediate Release: Arborists from multiple states assist in evaluation of damaged trees

Oct 14th, 2020

Posted in: Communication & External AffairsMayor




For Immediate Release: Arborists from multiple states assist in evaluation of damaged trees 


Mobile, Ala. - Yesterday the City of Mobile welcomed a dozen expert arborists to Bienville Square to assist in our efforts to properly record and evaluate the health of trees on city properties damaged by Hurricane Sally.  
The group was organized by the Alabama Forestry Commission and includes leading arborists from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Tennessee. Over the next few days, they will be evaluating trees in Mobile’s public parks and rights of way. Tuesday, they began their work with members of the City of Mobile’s Urban Forestry team in Bienville Square.  
As a third-party assessor, this team will help ensure our assessment and management of trees damaged by Sally are based on the best available science as well as national standards for arboriculture. Meeting these standards will also help the city secure financial assistance from FEMA as part of our recovery efforts. 

Like the City, this team is prioritizing public safety and the preservation of healthy trees in our public spaces.  
“Sometimes after these storms there’s a knee jerk reaction to just cut big trees down, but we’re here to help the City of Mobile maintain and keep as many viable trees as possible while making sure high-risk trees are removed from the landscape,” said team leader Seth Hawkins, a community forester with the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Bienville Square is a small part of our entire deployment, but we’re going to take extra care here. We know this is [Mobile’s] prized square, and these are beautiful trees.”  

Six trees in Bienville Square were lost during Hurricane Sally last month, and others sustained varying amounts of damage. Any decision to remove additional damaged trees will be made based on the recommendations of this third-party assessment of their health and sustainability. As a precaution to protect citizens, Bienville Square will remain closed to the public until this process is complete.  
“The evaluation of the trees in Bienville Square is just one part of a broader effort the City of Mobile is undertaking with arborists, scientists, city planners and stakeholders from various community groups related to the future of the park,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “We have a unique opportunity to strategically plan for that future while also ensuring Bienville Square remains the beautiful and iconic space it has been for more than two centuries.”


Jason Johnson
Media Relations Manager
(251) 323-0044