Residents upset over looming tree removal

Darlington, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - There's quite the struggle in Darlington to not only save trees, but improve drainage throughout the city.

The City of Darlington has hired an arborist who has identified 18 trees in the city that need to be cut down due to size. The arborist told officials the sizes of the trees are causing drainage problems in the city.

Shaw Dargan said his home has been in his family for seven generations, and he's upset five of the trees that line the front of his home will be torn down.

"It's bothersome, to say the least," Dargan said. "It just seems to me to be senseless. Why not put the drain out in the street and save the trees?"

Dargan doesn't believe the trees are diseased like the arborist said, and is working on plans to move the trees further onto his property instead of by the curb. He said while the city plans to replace the trees with smaller ones, it won't make up for the beauty of the 40-year-old trees.

"The one thing that we've got going for us is the beauty of our streets [and] the trees," Dargan said.

Jesse Blathers was also concerned about the trees being removed, but also can identify with some of the problems they've created.

"It does add to Darlington with the trees. For one, it helps with the shade in the community," Blathers said. "It's a whole lot dealing with them when it puts cracks in our street. You may not know whose car can go across the humps [created by the trees]."

The City of Darlington plans to begin taking bids on the removal project by the beginning of August. The project is being paid through a $20,000 grant given to the city.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.