Damaged Live Oak tree removed on West Oglethorpe Avenue - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Damaged Live Oak tree removed on West Oglethorpe Avenue

(Source: City of Savannah) (Source: City of Savannah)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A Live Oak tree in downtown Savannah, reportedly damaged by a local contractor, was removed on Tuesday.

Westbound Oglethorpe Avenue was closed between Bull and Whitaker streets from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday for the emergency tree removal. 

Last week, we told you the City of Savannah fined Dustcom Limited, Incorporated more than $37,000. The contractor was tying in a water line when, according to the city, violated a right-of-way permit by digging too close and damaging the tree's root system.

After a thorough assessment of the condition of the tree, it was determined that the root system could not be saved and it should be removed for public safety concerns.

One of the arborists, William Buckley, says he understands contractors make mistakes and the fine was relatively minor for this contractor.

"We're not trying to be punitive in this case. Most of the money, in this case, is for the loss of the city's property and the cost of mitigating the removal,” Buckley said.

The tree was more than 100 years old and stood 47 feet tall.

"There are people in the area and cars and buildings that are here 24/7 and when we have knowledge that a tree's been structurally compromised, unfortunately, we have to take a zero-tolerance approach,” Buckley said.

They will be replanting a tree in its place this fall.

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