55 trees in downtown Fairhope coming down to make room for new ones

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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – The trees lining Section Street in downtown Fairhope are just as iconic as the pier and Mobile Bay, but starting Monday night it’s out with the old and in with the new.

“It’s going to be a dramatic difference in streetscape,” said Richard Johnson with the City of Fairhope.

It’ll look much different in just a few weeks, but considering the current trees have been in the ground since 1999 there’s not really another option. 55 trees are coming down starting tonight.

“As you can see they’ve reached, really not complete maturity, but to a size where we’re having issue with the sidewalk and the curb and the asphalt and the root growth is starting to cause problems and it’s just time to replace them,” said Johnson.

We’re told the current trees can grow up to 85 feet tall. Combined with their wide canopy, it’s not a good mix for the downtown area.

“It can’t go much further. We’re already having ADA compliance issues with our downtown sidewalks and the trees are part of that problem,” Johnson added.

The new tree choice is a Chinese Pistache. It can grow up to 35 feet tall and will also have a large canopy. The goal is to replace about 5 trees a night and most importantly, to get the trees in the ground and string the lights before the annual lighting of the trees.

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