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Posted on: July 9, 2019

New plan emerges for Franklin Street trees

F Street 2

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. –  City officials have revised the plan for replacing trees and landscape elements along Franklin Street in Downtown Clarksville, Mayor Joe Pitts announced Wednesday.

Essentially, the new plan calls for replanting fewer trees than were removed earlier this year, and adding concrete planters filled with grasses and flowers matching the landscaping used at nearby Downtown Commons.

In May, 22 overgrown and declining little-leaf lindens were removed from the streetside tree wells in the 100 block of Franklin Street. At the time, the plan was simply to replant new trees in the wells. In March, eight trees had been replaced in the 200 block of Franklin Street near the Transit Parking Garage.

However, after more analysis by the City Forester and input from downtown merchants and property owners, a new plan will be implemented in early October.

The new plan for Franklin between First and Second streets calls for planting 15 Rotundilobas, a fruitless sweetgum tree, in the tree wells less susceptible to being hit by vehicles. The other  tree wells will be covered with large concrete planters. 

“We wanted to restore the vibrancy of trees to the streetscape along Franklin,” Mayor Pitts said. “But we needed a tree with a better size and shape, and to make the plantings easier to maintain and less prone to parallel-parking damage.”

The balled and burlapped 12-foot tall sweetgum trees have been purchased and are being stored in Liberty Park. In October, they will be moved and planted along Franklin Street by the Forestry Division, which is part of the Parks & Recreation Department. 

Meanwhile, several planters will be purchased and installed. Repairs and additions will be made to the electric system to provide one light fixture and one outlet per tree well, and to ensure existing outlets on the light poles are operational. The outlet posts will be the same style as those used at the Downtown Commons. 

After planting and installation, Parks & Recreation will provide the mulching, weeding, and pruning to the trees, and planter maintenance will be done by the Street Department. 

“As Clarksville continues to grow, the need to protect, restore, and maintain its tree canopy becomes increasingly important,” City Forester Kathrine Killebrew said. “Trees provide many benefits, such as cleaner air and water and reduced temperatures as well as psychological health and aesthetic benefits to people.”

The 100 block of Franklin Street is temporarily treeless as the City prepares to add new trees and planters to the street in early October.

Under a new Franklin Street plan only some of the tree wells will be replanted. In the view above, the tree well to the right, in front of the vehicle, will be replanted, while the one on the left will be covered with a planter. This configuration was designed, in part, to reduce the chance of trees being backed into by motorists while they parallel park along the street.

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