Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor to remove 59 hazardous trees

A $15,000 grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services allowed Safety Harbor to check its 3,514 trees for trouble.


A $15,000 grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services allowed Safety Harbor to check its 3,514 trees for trouble.

SAFETY HARBOR — Nearly 60 trees in city parks and rights of way are in such poor shape, they'll have to come down, an inspection has found.

In May, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Safety Harbor conducted a two-week study of the city's 3,514 publicly owned trees.

Arborists collected data related to tree species, size and maintenance needs.

Overall, the city's inventory is healthy. However, 59 trees near facilities, roads and sidewalks "pose a threat to public safety" and have to be removed over the next six months, city spokesman Brad Purdy said.

"There was a tree in the back of City Hall that was removed recently and there was a tree in the front that was hollow in the middle and filled with bees," he said. "That's the kind of example that we're trying to avoid. We don't want a tree to get to that point."

Ten of the trees are at the Marshall Street Park, nine are at the Safety Harbor City Park, four are at the North City Park and three are at the Safety Harbor Museum. The rest are scattered throughout the city.

"Now that this inventory has been done," Purdy said, "we will be more efficient in keeping up with the trees.

"We'll be able to look at the inventory and say, 'Okay, three years ago, the tree wasn't looking too good. Maybe we need to go back out there and take another look.' "

Before the grant, Safety Harbor had never conducted a survey like this, said community development director Matt McLachlan.

In an effort to be more proactive rather than reactive, the city applied for the Urban and Community Forestry grant in April 2009. The application was approved two months later.

The grant will not pay for the tree removal. City public works employees will take care of that.

ArborPro, a professional urban forest assessment company, evaluated Safety Harbor's inventory.

In addition to the 59 slated for removal, the survey found additional unhealthy trees. But because they are in the middle of heavily wooded areas and away from places "where people would normally be," Purdy said they will not be removed.

"We'll just let nature take its course with those," he said.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at or (727) 445-4167.

Safety Harbor to remove 59 hazardous trees 08/27/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 27, 2010 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was curious how he would feel — and perform — in Friday's exhibition against Nashville, his first game since mid-November knee surgery.

    The Lightning’s Alex Killorn, left, makes his preseason debut and has an assist in a 3-1 win against the Predators at Amalie Arena.
  2. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs while improving his defense and baserunning.
  3. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.
  4. Investigators reviewing HHS chief's private charter flights


    WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers' dime for official business.

  5. FSU gives president John Thrasher a pay bump as its academic standing rises


    TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State University moving closer to becoming a top-25 public university, the school's trustees on Friday bumped up President John Thrasher's salary by 7 percent and awarded him a $200,000 bonus.

    Florida State University President John Thrasher, center, is surrounded by lawmakers in 2016 as he visits the Florida Senate. Thrasher on Friday received a pay increase to go with the university's increased academic standing, including in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of public universities. FSU ranks 33rd this year, and is aiming for a top-25 spot. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]