The City of Salem has issued a permit to US Bank to remove 5 Japanese Zelkova trees along State Street because they are buckling the sidewalk.
In 2010, the City’s Urban Forester indicated the tree roots could be pruned enough to prevent the sidewalk damage, and save the trees. The City’s Shade Tree Committee denied the City’s request to remove the trees.
In 2012, US Bank requested permission to remove the trees and the City’s Shade Tree Committee denied the request again. US Bank “verbally” appealed the committee’s decision.
In January 2013, the Shade Tree Committee held a second public hearing where a number of opponents testified, and a petition signed by 22 downtown business owners and employees was presented opposing the tree removal. The Shade Tree Committee voted to deny the request for removal.
US Bank appealed the decision to the Director of Public Works, who has overturned the Shade Tree Committee’s recommendation. A permit has been issued for US Bank to begin removal of the trees as early as April 10th.