Due to the harsh winter experienced this year, the city of Bexley must replace elm trees that were planted in medians along East Main Street last year as part of a street repaving project.
"There's no cost to the city because they're under warranty," said Bill Dorman, the city's service director.
Bexley's urban forester closely monitored the Main Street elms throughout the spring and determined it was in the city's best interest to replace them as soon as possible, Dorman said.
"Every year, the city (staff) goes around and evaluates all of our city-owned trees," he said.
The city is in the process of replacing the existing Chinese elms with a variety called Valley Forge elm, a cross between American and Chinese elms. This variety of elm is more tolerant to extreme temperature fluctuations, fair to poor soil conditions, and has an upright/vase-shaped growth pattern, making it an ideal tree for the Main Street medians, Dorman said.
The replacement trees will be slightly smaller -- 2.5 inches at the time of installation -- but an appropriate size, given the planting areas, he said.
Given that the boulevards are irrigated, the trees will have time to become acclimated and established over the next three to four months, he said.
The original trees were 4-inch-caliper trees, installed as part of the Main Street repaving last year and funded by an $18,000 grant by the local group Trees for Bexley.
The trees are mostly for beautification purposes, but once they become mature, they can serve an environmental function, Dorman said.
"In any kind of urban setting, the shading can reduce some of the heat effect," he said. "Eventually, they will provide shade and filtration."
Some of the trees that have been identified as still being in good or fair condition will be removed from the medians and reused in various areas throughout the city, Dorman said.