- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - Sprawling oak trees that mark the landscape of Ocean Springs are getting a checkup.

While dealing with rot problems in the huge live oak outside one local business, officials decided to order a thorough evaluation off all 75 oaks that line the city’s Washington Avenue south of U.S. 90.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2kaxiME) the assessment by professional arborists started Monday.

David Fulgham, with Fulgham’s Inc., has a team measuring, numbering and assessing each of the downtown oaks. They are setting up an inventory, a database of information on each tree that the city can access and update.

It will list the condition of each tree, which is now numbered with a little metal tag. And it will list potential hazards for the tree.

The city’s Tree Committee “is thrilled,” said Chairwoman Melanie Allen. “The heritage Live oaks are iconic to downtown Ocean Springs. The trees create the atmosphere. They are such an asset to our city, we applaud the city’s efforts to take care of them.”

The company will produce an extensive written report, with recommendations, and also put the data into an online software system set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, called i-Tree.

Fulgham had two trees tagged for special consideration Monday afternoon near one busy intersection. One is the tree at historic Lovelace Drugs. It has a heavy top limb that lacks healthy, solid wood in the trunk for support. The other one is two trees down. It may be infested with termites.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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