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Bell : 19 Problem Trees to Fall

February 27, 1986

The 19 carob trees that have graced Gifford and Flora avenues in Bell for years just got "too old and too large," according to a city official.

The roots of the shady trees have broken up sidewalks and damaged curbs and gutters--and the city says they have to go.

A contract was approved by the City Council last week to have the trees removed and the sidewalks repaired.

This is the first time such a large number of trees in a concentrated area have been removed at once, said David Meyer, director of community redevelopment. The trees, he said, are "incapable of being salvaged."

Gilbert Reed, the city park superintendent, added: "It was the wrong tree in the wrong spot. They got too big and started tearing up sidewalks."

He said the trees will be replaced with purple leaf plum and southern magnolia trees.

At the council meeting, a motion to wait until the rainy season is over to have the work performed failed. There was some concern by Councilman Jay Price that uprooting the trees now would muddy residential streets if it rains.

But Mayor George Simmons said: "This is not a big deal. We're not tearing up the whole street." The council voted 3-0 to approve the project, with Price and Councilman Clarence Knechtel abstaining.

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