Claremore Daily Progress

August 6, 2013

Save the trees effort tabled

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Commissioners have decided to table any further discussion and action regarding the healthy survival of the two existing trees located on the east and south side of the old courthouse.

A group of citizens have asked that the 30-year trees remain standing, following demolition and preparation plans of the site for added parking spaces.

In May, the “Save the Courthouse Trees” group created a Facebook page, attempting to raise public awareness about the issue.

Since then, the group has received feedback from Rogers County commissioners, who are still in the process of reviewing a study provided by the county’s OSU Extension Office.

Extension Director Donna Patterson presented the study during Monday morning’s regular meeting after members of the OSU extension performed an examination of the trees last week.

“We discovered that the trees have encountered some stress because of drought conditions from the past two years,” said Patterson.

Another concern was the risk of hypoxylon canker, a fungus discovered to attack damaged or stressed trees, particularly oak trees, said Patterson. The fungus spreads quickly and no real cure has been discovered. She said after examining the trees, there seemed to be no hypoxylon canker present.

“Do we know if the trees will survive the demolition process? I think we should talk with a tree service to determine if any trimming needs to be made and the likelihood of (the trees) surviving the stress,” said commissioner Mike Helm.

Commissioners tabled the  item until Monday’s meeting, enabling more time to review the OSU extension’s study.

Rogers County District 1  Commissioner Dan DeLozier sent out invitations for bids last week for the tear down of the old courthouse. No official demolition date has been set.