Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brigham City Sycamores

After someone asked about local history regarding the Main street sycamore trees, my interest was piqued to find out a little more about our trees. A decision has been made to remove six out of the ten trees in front of the new LDS Temple. This will probably lead to some controversy, some because it is just hard to see those trees removed, and some because other main street institutions or businesses have requested tree removal and had the request denied. Will this set a precedence?

We have a copy of the 1979 Community Forest Report that notes "In the past months the Main Street sycamores have been the cause of a lot of arguments "No one wants to see the trees removed, yet something has to be done with the trees to enhance their looks and improve visibility for those entering and those driving on Main Street. The sycamores reduce visibility in two ways: (1) They hide cars that are turning onto Main until the car is already in the road. (2) Drivers turning onto Main cannot see if the road is clear without pulling half way into the outside lane." (I was told that the number of accidents occurring at streets entering Main Street were actually less where there were sycamore trees on the corners because people were more careful to check and move slowly before proceeding onto main, than the corners where there were no trees.)

Solutions suggested in 1979 were to remove every other tree or, a long range plan of complete removal of the sycamores and replacement with another species of tree not quite so large.  We seem to be dealing with the same problems today but what would our city look like without our trees on Main street? We'd be a pretty blah looking little town without our trees. The city has no written record of the year the trees were planted, but think they are 80+ years old now.

So on the subject of trees and the city, did you know that Brigham City has a City Forester and a Shade Tree commission? I didn't until just lately. You can find out more information about them on the city website at This commission meets once a month October through April. The City Forester is available to help you with information on planting, transplanting, pruning, fertilizing, pest control and an array of other tree care practices. He can also offer advice in diagnosing problems, and recommending treatments. You can contact the City Forester at 435-734-6615.

What is your opinion on the trees that line our main street - beauty or accident waiting to happen?

1 comment:

Stefanie Eskander said...

I believe the sycamore trees in Brigham City were planted by my grandfather, Ernest Ephraim Clark (or EE Clark as he was known) probably in the mid-1920s. He was a local nurseryman, selling trees, flowers and shrubs for the Brigham City Nursery, and also had his own business. He also sold grain and flour for Globe Mills. In the early 1940s, he and my grandmother moved to Hollywood, California, where he planted two redwood trees in their backyard. They still stand, among the tallest trees in Los Angeles.