The removal of the ash tree population in downtown Carman has begun, says Mayor Bob Mitchell.

Over one dozen trees will be torn down along 1st Street SW over the next week to make way for a new coloured sidewalk. The current path imposes safety concerns due to the unheaval of bricks from the tree roots below, which is why the removal of the trees is necessary, said the mayor.

Shortly after the Ash Tree committee (made up of councillors) announced its decision to eliminate the trees it asked Carman residents and businesses to submit solutions to make up for the loss of vegetation. The committee met on Tuesday to discuss these suggestions.

Mitchell said one of the primary ideas council is sitting on is the addition of a new type of tree recommended by Aubin Nursuries. This type will grow roots deeper into the ground as to not disturb the condition of the sidewalk; it will take up less space and will be low maintenance.

Mitchell said other solutions included the incorporation of potting plants, benches, and decorative lighting.

The next step, said the mayor, will be for the committee to meet again next week to further brainstorm the addition of new features and their locations. As for now, Mitchell said construction on the one block along 1st Street SW should be completed within two weeks. Once the mapping and design is figured out, the contractor can begin its work, which the mayor said should be finished by early to mid October.

He added that all the paving stones in town will eventually be taken out and replaced with concrete.

See related story:

"Group Fights to Save Stretch of Ash Trees in Carman"