Changes to Hoover Auditorium Landscaping

Posted on February 08, 2018

Last Friday, three large Norway Maple trees that sat to the east of Hoover Auditorium were taken down.  This difficult decision was made after careful consideration of the facts, coupled with expert advice and input from the Lakeside Tree Advisory Committee and Ohio Edison.

In the spring of 2017, all of the trees in Lakeside that interfered with power lines were trimmed by crews working for Ohio Edison. At that time, Lakeside was advised that the three Norway Maples would need to be severely trimmed because of their interference with the power lines. Because of the size of their canopy, the three Norway Maple trees typically need significant trimming every four years. Lakeside asked Ohio Edison to delay the work on these trees until the fall of 2017 to provide time to consider various options.

After reviewing the situation, the Lakeside Tree Advisory Committee recommended that the trees be removed and replaced with native trees that would grow to a more appropriate and safe height.

The Tree Advisory Committee made several points regarding the safety of all Lakesiders as well as the sustainability of natural life surrounding Hoover Auditorium.

Norway Maple trees are a non-native and invasive species in our area. The dense, leafy canopy doesn’t allow for adequate sunlight to reach the grass under the trees, which has resulted in continuous dirt patches that become mud puddles in the rain. Additionally, the roots of Norway Maple trees have the tendency to sit high as opposed to burying themselves deep in the ground. This creates a significant tripping hazard for concert-goers who are leaving Hoover Auditorium late at night. And lastly, due to the age of the trees, several large branches in the canopy were actually weak enough to be pulled down by hand, as a consulting arborist pointed out to us.

After much study and discussion, Lakeside decided to move forward with the plan to remove the trees with the hope of planting new life in their place. We are very grateful to the Tree Advisory Team for their guidance in this situation and to Ohio Edison for absorbing the cost of this tree removal.

Lakeside and the Tree Advisory Committee are researching native species of Maple trees that can replace the Norway Maples and will grow to an appropriate height for the space next to Hoover. Additionally, Lakeside will invest in new landscaping to help restore the land that had been too heavily shaded under the old trees.

As a proud longtime member of Tree City USA, Lakeside takes the removal of any tree very seriously. Lakeside wishes to thank the Lakesiders serving on the Tree Advisory Committee and the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society for providing guidance on this issue as we plan for a more sustainable Lakeside.

Several years ago, Lakeside established a restricted Tree Fund through the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation so individuals could direct a tax-deductible gift in support of Lakeside’s tree canopy and its maintenance. Since that time we have received numerous gifts in support of this effort and with those funds, 125 new trees have been planted in Lakeside. With your support, Lakeside will continue to invest in the tree population within our community while maintaining the many benefits the trees provide.