A project to prune the city’s signature trees along Lighthouse Drive is scheduled to begin this month.
In June, the City Commission approved a contract with EDJ Tree Service for the project, and authorized the expenditure of $50,000, which will come from city’s Infrastructure Fund.
The city trees on Lighthouse Drive have not been thoroughly pruned in five years. City staffers perform maintenance pruning on a regular basis, but the trees are now too large for in-house thorough pruning, according to the Public Works Department.
The contractor will prune 270 hardwood trees along Lighthouse Drive, most of which are live oaks. There are also some mahogany trees.
The tree pruning project will thin, reduce, and lift the tree canopy.
The trees will be trimmed to a vertical clearance of 16 feet over the paved roadway. The main concern is roadway traffic and storm resilience. The trees will be trimmed to a vertical clearance of 10 feet over the sidewalks.
The tree trimming shall not extend past the city right-of-way line, but there could be exceptions to balance the tree canopy, and these will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Trimming of trees in electric power lines is the responsibility of Florida Power & Light (FPL) contractors and is not included in the scope of work.
If there are funds remaining once the main scope of work is completed, city trees in other areas could be pruned as part of the project.
The tree pruning project is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete. It will involve lane closures on Lighthouse Drive in the immediate work vicinity. Traffic will be controlled with flaggers.
The project will likely start at the south end of the city and work north in loops to complete a section at a time.
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