It’s evident many people living in Newburgh love driving under the tree canopy on SR 662. Many of those tree lovers spent their night in front of the Newburgh Town Council pleading to keep it open. They shared personal stories of how driving under the tree for decades has helped turn Newburgh into what it is.
Members of the Newburgh Town Council made a plan of attack for the tree canopy and it’s like the old refrain; “if you love something let it go.”
The Newburgh Town Council and a tree consultant, Larry Kaplan, agree: the trees have become a public danger. Kaplan says at least a third of the trees are dead and a falling limb could hurt a person driving underneath. One woman who lived near the trees went even further, saying she wouldn’t want a tree killing a driver.
Kaplan and some of the members of the audience had a similar theory. Many who spoke at the meeting lashed out against Vectren and its handling of the trees, and while it may have been harsh, some of their assessments weren’t off base. The Town Council says its within the jurisdiction of Vectren to clear the area around its power lines. Vectren did just that a year ago, and Kaplan says all of the Eastern Red Cedars that were topped couldn’t handle the trimming and have died.
Still, Kaplan says only one third of the trees are dead. Kaplan theorizes another third will need heavy maintenance to live, while the remaining third are doing alright.
This diagnosis put the Newburgh Town Council in an interesting spot. With many of the trees needing to come down due to the danger they pose, the Newburgh Town Council decided to look into hiring a tree care company to bring down the dead and dangerous trees while working to save the rest of the canopy.
Nobody is quite sure what the canopy will look like when the trees start to come down, but everyone at the meeting Wednesday agreed: they will do what they can to make sure the major entryway into Newburgh remains beautiful.