Project in Market Square aims to save old oak trees

Project in Market Square aims to save old oak trees

Posted:
The city is making improvements that will hopefully help save some of the largest and oldest trees in Market Square. The city is making improvements that will hopefully help save some of the largest and oldest trees in Market Square.
The six large oak trees at the south end of the Market Square have been providing shade over the square since long before it was popular again, but that shade has also been causing some problems. The six large oak trees at the south end of the Market Square have been providing shade over the square since long before it was popular again, but that shade has also been causing some problems.
Continual sod work has proved too traumatic for the roots of the tree, and without a change they could die. Continual sod work has proved too traumatic for the roots of the tree, and without a change they could die.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Some changes are coming to the landscaping in Market Square.

The city is making improvements that will hopefully help save some of the largest and oldest trees in the square.

The six large oak trees at the south end of the Market Square have been providing shade over the square since long before it was popular again, but that shade has also been causing some problems.

"We have had a tough time getting sod to grow in this area and maintenance costs in this area is a concern for us where we continually go in two to three times a year and have to re-sod the area," said the City of Knoxville's Urban Forester Kasey Krouse.

That work has proved too traumatic for the roots of the tree, and without a change they could die.

It also means continually closing off the area to visitors of the square who wish to use it.

"This allows for a path to where it's going to be more functional," said Krouse. "People can use it year round and we don't have to have those periods where the area is restricted."

There will also be landscaping beds on each side of the bed with small areas of sod where people will still be able to sit under the trees.

Business owners at places like Rocco Boutique which overlook the trees are welcoming the news.

"It would seem pretty empty without them actually," said Kara Gibson, a worker at Rocco Boutique. "It adds just another element to the square and adding a place to sit and wander around in there I think it will add to the esthetic of the square as well."

When it's all said and done, the city hopes it will provide a more uniformed look with nearby areas.

"We're hoping to have an extension of what's going on at Krutch Park," said Krause.

The city expects to have the work wrapped up by the end of March, long before the busy festival season.

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