A downtown business is requesting the city of McMinnville remove two trees behind the Hargrove building.
Commonly known as Tree of Heaven, the species is wreaking havoc on the property.
Panther Creek Forestry, represented by Emily Stefanick, made the request during Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
“I brought a letter from the current owner of the building, Ben Myers,” said Stefanick. “He wasn’t able to be here tonight. We are requesting the removal of two trees.”
Myers stated in the letter he purchased the property in July and has noticed potential structural damage from roots that are entering the building. Also, he expressed concern for them potentially falling on power lines, as they are leaning in that direction.
“The trees appear to be on the city’s property,” said Myers. “The trees are an exotic and invasive species, Tree of Heaven, and not native to the United States. As a professional forester, I continually recommend the removal of these species to improve forest health. The species has no wildlife benefit or timber value and are characteristically weak and prone to splitting or breaking.”
Tree of Heaven is native to China and brought from Europe into the United States in the late 1700s.
Alderman Everett Brock asked if the business has contacted McMinnville Electric System to cut them down due to their presences being a potential danger.
“I have not contacted McMinnville Electric,” said Stefanick. “We are fairly certain they are on city property so this was the first step, approaching the city.”
Brock asked if the trees were on city property, given that the words “fairly certain” expresses hesitancy about the ownership of the trees.
“I believe that it’s fairly definitive that the trees are not on the 118 South Court property, based on the deed and the monument that is identifiable and right there at the south boundary of the property,” said Stefanick, who offered to share what information the business has that lead to the determination.
City administrator Bill Brock will work with the business to determine boundary lines and bring that information back to the board.