Due to the condition of the elm tree located at the base of Conneaut Hill, the hill will remain closed until the tree may be removed. The tree requires removal due to severe structural cracks that present a clear and present danger to those utilizing the sledding hill as well as a portion of Conneaut/Haskins Park. The tree was assessed by the City Arborist and an Urban Forester from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and both recommend removal of the tree due to the imminent risk of failure of the cracked limbs.
The City was presented with three options – permanently close the park/sledding hill, remove the cracked limbs, or remove the tree. Both experts concluded that removal of the tree is the recommended course of action due to level of risk and likelihood of failure. Pruning was not chosen or recommended because the cracked limbs would result in a severe degradation of the aesthetics of the tree – nearly two-thirds of the tree requires removal. Further, trees of that age do not respond well to such pruning, resulting in continued and increasing declining health – leading to the tree being a safety hazard again.
In previous years, the City had taken action in an attempt to prolong the life of the tree by cabling limbs together – supporting the limbs by placing a cable around the affected limb and another. However, the limbs that are cabled together are now cracked to an extent that if one fails, the other(s) will fail as well.
Pictures of the tree showing the amount of damage have been attached to this post along with a link to the report received from ODNR.Ohio Department of Natural Resources report