On one hand, the ash trees that line the parking lot at Valverde Park are beautiful and provide much needed shade during the scorching Central Valley summers.
On the other hand, they’re destroying the very parking lot they were intended to shade.
During its business meeting on Monday the Lathrop City Council approved the creation of a capital improvement project that will allow work to begin to repair some of the damage caused by the trees over the last several years.
With the council’s approval, the city will be able to carry out $52,000 in asphalt repairs caused by the invasive roots of the trees, and $34,000 for concrete curb and gutter repairs to correct the ongoing damage. According to the staff report for the item, eight of the trees were removed from the northern half of the parking lot recently because of the invasive nature of the root structure, and an additional seven trees were removed on the southern half of the lot near the Lathrop Senior Center in an effort to curtail damage and prevent sidewalks in the area from being affected.
The removal of the trees and the repair of the parking lot and the concrete curbs and gutters should, according to the staff report, correct the issues with drainage and prevent future flooding of the heavily-used – allowing water that collects to drain according to plan.
A 15 percent contingency of $12,900 is being added to the project to bring the total cost of the repairs to just under $100,000. The construction phase of the project will involve removing the asphalt to provide access to the invasive roots and remove them as necessary before replacing the pavement to prevent future issues.
In recent years the city has been cognizant of the types of trees that are planted for municipal projects because of the issues with invasive root structures and has a policy in place that puts the responsibility of tree maintenance – including those of the roots – onto the owners of the property which faces the trees.
With projects in new residential neighborhoods and tracts like Mossdale and River Islands requiring landscaped strips along sidewalks to create a buffer between the road and the sidewalk – and those strips often including trees – the move away from trees with invasive root issues impacts not just the city, but the homeowners in the vicinity as well.
No timetable for construction was set at Monday’s meeting. For additional information, to view the meeting online, or to obtain a copy of the agenda or the individual item, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.