Tree removal causes neighborhood concern


A video posted June 29 shows trees being torn down on a 75-acre property slated for development. The trees were determined to not be heritage trees. (via Courtesy photo)

A video of an apparent tree removal taking place on the soon-to-be developed The Grove at Shoal Creek property was posted June 29 and started to cause some concern among surrounding neighbors.

The 75-acre property—formerly owned by the state—is being developed by Milestone Community Builders and has many heritage trees protected from damage or removal by city law. Davey Tree Experts was hired by Milestone to assist and provide recommendations for the tree care program, the developers announced in May.

The removal of a Hackeberry tree shown in the video is not in violation of Austin’s laws and was done by recommendation from professional arborists with Davey Tree Experts, according to a statement by The Grove at Shoal Creek.

“Hackberry is not an invasive tree species, but our arborist recommended its removal because the Hackberry root system was interfering with the root system of one of the largest heritage oaks on the property, which is about 300 years old,” according to the statement. “Left unattended, this situation would continue to harm the heritage oak.”

An unnamed city official visited the site after the video was posted and reviewed the tree care program. He complimented the program and granted approval for work to continue, according to the statement.

Invasive plant species, such as Chinaberry and Ligustrum, are also being removed because of the risk they pose to erode or alter the soil chemistry and harm other vegetation. The Chinaberry’s fruit is also poisonous to humans and some mammals.

A community meeting to reveal a revised site plan will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 9 at 3901 Shoal Creek Blvd.  The Grove at Shoal Creek will also host an outdoor party called Grovefest from noon to 3 p.m. July 11 featuring music, food trucks and games.

Community compromise helps shape development

The Grove at Shoal Creek development (via Ethan Hill/Community Impact Newspaper)

Learn more about The Grove at Shoal Creek development by reading this April 2015 front-page story about the project.

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Jennifer covers Austin City Council, its various committees and local business news. After covering Florida's 2013 legislative session she graduated from Georgia Southern University and joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2014.
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