You readers know I usually stick with stories of a local nature. But ever so often I come across a story that just begs to put on the site. Here in Loudon County we are struggling with a lot of serious issues. Higher taxes, over development, crooked politicians and on and on. But just to our north, the city of Farragut has it's own problems but they are wasting no time dealing with it. Oh, to have such problems. I bet even Brookshire hasn't thought of this one.

‘Tree topping’ banned by Farragut planning commission
Alan Sloan - Thu, May, 22, 2008

Most tree topping in Farragut will be banned or seriously restricted.

By unanimous vote (9-0), Farragut Municipal Planning Commission voted to ban tree topping in the town of Farragut after hearing a recommendation from Mark Shipley, town development coordinator.

“Although we haven’t had a proliferation [of topping] we have had some,” said Shipley during FMPC’s monthly meeting, Thursday, May 15, in Town Hall. “Probably the reason it’s not in our current landscaping requirements, I didn’t think it would ever, really be a problem.”

Shipley defined topping as “crew-cutting a tree. … Without regard to the structure of the tree.”

In addition to unbecoming appearance and possibly killing a tree, topping problems also include “little off-shoots coming out of the stubs” that “are a lot more hazardous” because they are weaker and more likely to break, Shipley said.

Topping exceptions, Shipley said, would include trees under utility lines.

Otherwise, if a tree deemed a hazard must be removed, Shipley said the ordinance requires it must be replaced at a nearby location.

Moreover, Shipley said ordinance language further discourages tree removal/topping: “If you had an eight-inch caliber tree that you’ve removed, you’re going to have to add back four two-inch caliber trees.”

Shipley clarified that tree trimming, “to selectively remove limbs … basically still leave the natural form of the tree intact,” is still allowed. “If you do it properly you couldn’t ever tell it’s been trimmed.”