Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dutch Elm on Indian Hill to be removed

One of Claremont's oldest and most revered trees will have to be removed after a contractor cut through many of its roots.

Located on the southeast corner of Indian Hill Boulevard and 10th Street, the Dutch Elm tree has been providing shady cover for travelers on Indian Hill for over 100 years.

On Monday morning, an independent contractor of the city was working on the installation of a traffic signal at Indian Hill and 10th Street when he sliced through several major roots of the elm tree.

According to a city news release, "the root cutting was done without notification or authorization from the City. The policy of the City is to never grant permission to cut roots over 2 inches in diameter without proper inspection and approval from a licensed arborist."

The Dutch Elm trees located along Indian Hill Boulevard are the last of their species west of the Mississippi River.

The city contracted 4 independent arborists to assess the damage. They found that the 20 percent of the roots were damaged beyond repair and the stability of the tree has been compromised.

Construction on the installation of the signal has been halted until further notice by the City. According to Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos, the city will be seeking compensation from the contractor.

Upon hearing the news, Mayor Pro Tem Linda Elderkin went to see the tree one last time this evening before it was removed.

"I am just very sad about this," Elderkin said. "I am really devastated. As will everyone in this neighborhood be. There is really no way to compensate for the loss of a tree like this."

The tree will be removed tomorrow morning beginning at 9 a.m.


  1. It is a pity that the "52-year-old woman driving a BMW sport utility vehicle" could not obey the crosswalk laws and did not pay full attention, hit the Witts and thus forced the city to install a signal.

    Which has now killed this lovely tree.

    Our auto-centric culture strikes again!

  2. It is a pity that the city really thinks a traffic signal is needed at Indian Hill and 10th and not the traffic-congested intersection of Indian Hill and Scripps. If Mayor Pro Tem Linda Elderkin wants to really cry, I suggest she visit Scripps and Indian Hill Blvd. a few minutes prior to the time when the high school lets out. She'll probably scratch her head over how the city council came to spend money on installation of a signal at Indian Hill Blvd. and 10th and not at Indian Hill and Scripps. But, hey, this is the nearly the same council of minions who brought us the trolley.