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Massive oak threatens library, may eventually become tree art

Thursday, September 29, 2016

There’s a large and very old oak tree that stands near Forsyth Public Library on the east side of the building. According to Public Works Director Larry Coloni, the tree is decaying and needs to be removed before it causes any damage to the library.

Coloni received two quotes — one from Romer Brothers Tree and Shrub Service and the other from Sky’s the Limit Tree Service — to remove the tree with the aid of a crane. Romer’s bid is for $5,150, and the Sky’s the Limit put in a bid for $5,000. Both bids include removing the tree, debris and grinding the stump.

Trustee Bob Gruenewald asked about the expensive price tag for the job. Coloni said part of the reason the cost seems high is that using the crane adds about $1,500. The crane is necessary because of the size of the tree, Coloni said.

“We (Public Works) don’t take down trees when they’re this big, so we don’t damage the building,” Coloni said.

Coloni recommended Sky’s the Limit, but no decision was made.

Library Director Rachel Miller had a request that the tree not be completely ground up and that trustees consider making a sculpture out of the remaining stump. She showed trustees photos of a similar piece of art to illustrate her idea. She noted that the tree is about 13-feet around and might be a good candidate for being transformed into interesting art.

“I’d like to open up the idea and maybe work with the arts council,” Miller said.

She added that a local artist charged $1,000 for similar work about five years ago.

“Before we grind up the stump, let’s consider this,” Miller said.

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