City Hall Tree Is Important to this Greentree City


By: Beth von Behren on November 16, 2012 Print This Post

We talk a lot about trees in Kirkwood.  Trees are important to the City’s identity as a Tree City USA (Arbor Day Foundation designation) and as the Greentree City.  Any time a tree is taken down, for any reason, people notice, and that is as it should be.

A few months ago, we had to take down a beloved and historic Sugarberry tree in Kirkwood Park.  The parks department collected seed with the hope of re-establishing the tree’s progeny in the park.  At about the same time, we had to remove some Bradford Pear trees along Adams Avenue by the Kirkwood Park tennis courts.  In both instances, the trees were either dying or in very poor health.  When a tree becomes distressed or goes into decline, it can start to drop limbs, which creates a serious safety hazard for pedestrians and motorists.

Sometime over the next two months, the City will once again be required to remove a well-known tree, this time in front of City Hall.  The tree in question is an old oak tree, and it has been in declining health for more than two years (see photos).  Dead limbs have been falling onto the sidewalk, and dead trees can attract insects, such as carpenter ants, in the areas of dead bark.   Oak trees hold on to their leaves in the fall longer than other trees, so the tree may look healthy to the casual observer, but if you look closely, you will detect some bald branches.

Most trees have a set or typical life span, and this oak tree has come to the end of its span.  Presently, there are no plans to immediately replant, but the City will let residents know if and when a replanting will occur. Members of the City’s Urban Forestry Commission concurred that the tree should be taken down and along with City Council members and City staff, they are working to develop landscaping plans for City Hall in its entirety. Once a plan is fully developed, approved, and funded, we will publicize it.

The City wishes to thank the members of Keep Kirkwood Green for all of their efforts to re-plant the urban forest in Kirkwood through their “50 Trees” campaign.  For more information about the organization, or if you would like to volunteer or donate, click here to read their brochure.



Written by Beth

Beth von Behren is the Public Information Officer for the City of Kirkwood. She manages the City Website ( and writes/edits both the monthly "Eye on Kirkwood" (published on the last Friday of the month inside the "Webster-Kirkwood Times") and the every-other-weekly e-newsletter "Kirkwood Happenings." To sign up for the e-newsletter, send an email to