ENVIRONMENT

130 trees are coming down in Salt Lake County

Sep 7, 2023, 8:00 PM

Wheeler Farm starts a project to take down 130 trees....

Wheeler Farm starts a project to take down 130 trees. (An Errant Knight)

(An Errant Knight)

MURRAY, Utah — In a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions among the local community, Salt Lake County has commenced a tree removal project.

The project, began on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Wheeler Farm. Crews aim to remove about 130 trees from the area, drawing both support and concern from residents.

Wheeler Farm, located at 6300 South and 9th East in Murray, is a popular spot for families. The Farm offers a range of recreational activities. Among the activities are farmers’ markets in the summer and the Pumpkin Days Maze in the fall.

The decision to remove a significant number of trees has stirred emotions in the community. Many have fond memories associated with these trees.

Why take the trees down?

Elizabeth Solis, with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, clarified the intention behind this controversial move.

 

The removal primarily targets trees in the dam embankment area, which play an integral role in the engineered structure. These trees have suffered from inadequate irrigation, relying solely on natural sources such as rain and snow, which has led to their unhealthy condition.

Extreme weather conditions, like we’ve had in the pass few months, have also compromised the integrity of many of the trees in the area.

Solis emphasized that the removal project has been carefully planned, with the county collaborating with Tree Utah to plant new trees in the farm to compensate for the loss.

Safety concern over 130 trees

Kade Moncur, division director of Salt Lake County Flood Control, highlighted the critical safety concerns associated with the trees on the dam embankment.

Trees hinder the county’s ability to inspect the dam effectively, potentially leading to severe issues during high runoff events. They can also attract rodents, and their roots can compromise the dam structure.

Moncur also noted that public safety is the number one priority. Ensuring the proper functioning of the detention basin will help prevent future flooding.

The trees will be chipped and recycled as mulch after they are removed. Additionally, the root systems will be milled down, and any impact on the dam embankment will be repaired.

Many locals have expressed their nostalgia and love for the trees. The county’s decision underscores the importance of maintaining infrastructure for the safety of the community.

As the project progresses, it will be essential to find a balance between preserving natural beauty. Safeguarding against potential hazards at Wheeler Farm is the goal.

Related: Alta Ski Area to host annual tree planting day

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130 trees are coming down in Salt Lake County