The oaks and maples around the old courthouse in downtown Moulton have added great beauty and value to our town square for many decades. These mature, healthy trees do much more than beautify; they provide essential eco-system services such as cleaning our air, creating oxygen and being an important part of the water cycle. Our venerable courthouse trees came under assault when the Lawrence County Commissioners made the decision to “trim” the old trees and do away with one maple altogether. Healthy mature trees should be trimmed very conservatively if at all and only during their dormant season. Trimming a tree in April is detrimental to its health and longevity. They are now vulnerable to disease, insect infestations and fungus.
Even after being informed of the risks to our trees, nothing was done by the Commission to stop the cutting or defer trimming to the dormant season.
Some reasons given for cutting:
Preparation for the Strawberry Festival. There was nothing about the trees that would impact the festival. There is nothing about the festival that warrants the ridiculous height that was carved into the canopy of the trees.
Liability. Much more than dead or broken limbs were removed. A large amount of healthy, living wood and foliage was removed, living wood that the trees need to survive and that was of no threat to anyone in any way.
Grass is spotty under the trees. The health and existence of these trees is vastly more important than grass.
Makes it look neater. The trees were perfectly beautiful in the fullness of their unthreatening foliage and limbs.
Moulton has lost a lot of its big old trees to storms in the past two years. Bad decisions by humans have now put some of the oldest remaining ones at great risk.