The city is planning to remove dead trees from the Bloomington square so it can hang new lights in time for Christmas.
The historic courthouse square in Bloomington lights up during the holidays with thousands of white bulbs that illuminate the trees from late November through the new year.
But a number of those trees look unhealthy. Lee Huss, an urban forester with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, says most of the trees are maples which are more sensitive to drought conditions like the area has experienced this summer.
“It has been three bad years in a row here for the urban forestry program, with droughts and then we had the tornado last year, so it is presenting a challenge for us,” he says. “We looked also at the future challenge of the emerald ash borer when it arrives here in the community and the impact it will have on our urban forestry.”
Huss says the city is looking at ways to improve its watering system. In the meantime, there are plans to remove the dead trees next month and replant new trees.
CFC Properties maintains the lights on the square. CFC President Jim Murphy says the declining health condition of trees would not affect the Christmas lights,
“We certainly would work with the city to try to install lights to keep a beautiful downtown during that time of the year,” Murphy says.
Murphy says his company will also be careful to not damage the fragile, new trees when it hangs the lights.