Safety trumps beauty in Lovers Lane tree battle

Safety trumps beauty in Lovers Lane tree battle

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A massive oak tree leaning over Lovers Lane in Ocean Springs will have to go, despite a huge outpouring of support from many residents on the street.

In a 6-1 vote Tuesday night, the Board of Aldermen voted to remove the tree. Alderman Jerry Dalgo was the lone vote against the measure.

For months, city leaders and residents alike have tried to find an alternative to cutting down the oak. The quiet neighborhood is known for its shady, winding road. But the tree creates a bottleneck and sits on the city's right-of-way. It also creates a public safety concern because it delays the fire department's ladder truck from getting down the street in a timely manner. The city's insurance rating requires a fire truck to respond to an emergency with 3-5 minutes.

The fire department was asked to practice maneuvering around the trees on the lane during different types of conditions. But even that wasn't enough to save the tree.

It's not clear yet when the tree may come down.

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