Homer to remove trees along Main Street, Village Green

The Village Green in the Village of Homer. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

The Village of Homer is developing a plan to remove trees on the Village Green and on Main Street, mayor Hal McCabe noted at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

McCabe mentioned that he, village deputy mayor Pat Clune, village clerk Dan Egnor and Department of Public Works Superintendent Phil Stockton recently met with an arborist to discuss tree removal in the area.

Following the meeting, McCabe said five of the trees “need to be cut down” on the Village Green, with a handful of trees in need of trimming.

“We’re hoping that maybe we can save them,” McCabe said of the trees that need trimming.

The trees on Village Green, McCabe said, are not old. However, he added, damages to the root system from a recent NYSEG gas-line project and sidewalk replacement are “killing these trees.”

“(NYSEG) probably had to go down farther to get to the gas lines and chopped into some roots,” McCabe said, noting the trees are “not doing well” due to the root damage. According to McCabe, the arborist also mentioned sidewalk replacement is “very hard on the trees.”

Clune noted after the trees went through a dry season, the roots will “take a harder hit.”

“Which they did,” he added. “It basically shocks the trees.”

McCabe also noted somewhere between 4-to-6 trees in front of businesses on Main Street need to be removed.

“They’re all dying,” he said. “They need to come out.”

A contractor with the village will remove the trees on the Village Green soon, McCabe said. The work to remove the trees on Main Street, he added, will be implemented into the village’s 2023-24 budget.

“Taking down the trees is a piece of cake. It’s getting the stump out of there completely so we can put another tree in its place,” McCabe said, adding he is unsure of the cost at the moment.

“This could be a 2-to-3 year project,” Clune said, who responded to board member Elizabeth McGrath’s questions about taking “immediate action” to remove most, if not, all of the trees this year.

Once all of the trees have been removed, McCabe said, the village plans to re-plant new trees. He noted the new trees will be ones that “don’t grow too high and get tangled in the wires.”

“When we go to re-plant these trees, we’re going to plant them at least 6-to-10 feet from the sidewalk,” Stockton said.