Could Downtown Mall trees be on the chopping block?

image As Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall enters its fifth decade, the health and future of the willow oaks that line the former roadway have been cast into doubt. As the trees continue to grow, their close canopies and the tight metal grates at their bases threaten their long-term health, and saving them could be an expensive proposition. Removing the metal grates and replacing them with a combination of fabric, foam, stone and brick could cost as much as $10,000 per tree, said Jim Urban, a landscape architect hired to brief the city Tree Commission and other stakeholders. “Of all the ...

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