Newburgh Works To Keep Some Cherished Trees

Jun 14, 2018

The "tree tunnel" over S.R. 662 heading into Newburgh at the town's western edge.
Credit Isaiah Seibert / WNIN

Cars drive through a tree-covered section of state road 662 at the edge of Newburgh. Some residents affectionately call the stretch of road a tree tunnel, and the trees that line the highway are special to many in the town.

“I asked myself the other day when I went through it ‘what am I feeling?’" Judy Griffin told the Newburgh Town Council at its June 13 meeting. "Well it was something like being in a deep woods. It was something like being in a great cathedral.”

But some of the beloved trees have something new around them: ribbons. A green ribbon means the tree needs significant repair. Red marks the tree for removal.

Larry Caplan put the ribbons there. He's an aborist and a self-described tree-hugger, but he plans to advise to the town throughout the removal process. 

Vectren, which operates power lines above the trees, planned to clear some of the trees because of the treats they pose to drivers. Storms temporarily postponed the removal, but the council decided to delay it indefinitely after public pushback. That's when they hired Caplan.

Caplan told the council that some of the trees are healthy and pose minimal risk. The council plans to work with his tree care company, Maple Grove Tree and Landscape Consultans, and Vectren to remove the dangerous trees and ensure the safety of the remaining ones.