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Main Street sugar maples being replaced
downtown planters, BEFORE.jpg
BEFORE City of McMinnville employees began ripping up the trees and shrubs in the downtown planters this week. Crowded roots were creating an issue and prompted the replacement. Sugar maples will be replaced with two varieties of conifer trees. - photo by Lisa Hobbs
downtown planters, AFTER.jpg
AFTER City of McMinnville employees began ripping up the trees and shrubs in the downtown planters this week. Crowded roots were creating an issue and prompted the replacement. Sugar maples will be replaced with two varieties of conifer trees. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

A changing of the trees is taking place in Historic Downtown McMinnville. 

Employees of McMinnville Public Works Department and the city’s Landscape Management Department are systematically replacing sugar maple trees and shrubs in the planters along Main Street and Court Square.

“We’re replacing the trees because if you look at them, they are about 6-8 inches out of the ground,” said city landscape manager Hank Patton. “The roots were pushing the trees out of the planters. They run out of room and need to be replaced occasionally.”

Sugar maples are being replaced with conifers, Weeping Alaskan cedar trees and Norwegian spruce trees. Sugar maple trees are deciduous, meaning their leaves change colors and shed every fall, but these trees do not.

“We’re also replacing the soil and the shrubs in the planters,” said Patton. “This round we are replacing 12 with four Weeping Alaskan cedars and eight colander Norwegian spruce. We’re using conifers this time, so no more falling leaves. These will be beautiful to decorate at Christmas.” 

He added, “We are pretty excited about it. We should be able to do four a day, and be done with the 12 in about a week. That’s not all of them, but that’s all we’ve budgeted for right now. When we have funds in the budget, we’ll replace more.”

The shrubs will be replaced by colorful plants.