With the onset of drought and trees at the end of their lifespan, the Williams Cemetery District will be removing 23 Elm Trees surrounding the compound at the end of the month.
“The trees were planted over a 100 years ago, and many are rotting to the core,” said Cemetery Manager, Dawn Nissen.
Dead branches and hallowed trunks can be easily spotted from the roadway making the trees a hazard.
“We want to reduce the liability and remove the trees before something happens,” said Nissen.
In 2006, the Williams Cemetery had the trees trimmed of dead wood and discovered the ultimate fate of their beloved trees.
“We had an arborist tell us that the trees didn’t have many years left,” said Nissen, “elm trees have a life expectancy of about 100 years or so – and we can only estimate that these trees were planted sometime in the year 1901.”
Although the Cemetery has been maintaining the trees for as long as possible, salvaging them after a prolonged drought is not possible.
“If we do not remove them now, they will only get worse,” added Nissen.
Tree removal is expected to begin at the end of October.
“This is a significant financial impact to the cemetery,” said Nissen, “but keeping them would be a greater impact.”
Once the trees have been removed, the district plans to replace the trees with a heartier variety after they have recouped funding.