- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Sixty-two protected trees in north Biloxi are coming down for construction of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Store.

After the store is built, Wal-Mart will plant 57 trees to replace those lost.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1w4xtwK) the Biloxi Planning Commission on Thursday approved a plan to develop a vacant 5-acre lot. No one objected to the removal of trees.

Mike Dedman, project manager with Carlson Consulting Engineers in Tennessee, said 27 of the new trees will be crape myrtles that will be pruned as trees, not big bushes. Six Live oak trees will be planted on the site along with cypress trees, he said.

“I walked the property,” city arborist Eric Nolan said. “I didn’t see any big, big trees.” Most are 8 to 16 inches in diameter, he said, with an average of 8 to 10 inches.

Overall, the city is going to get good trees for what will be lost, Nolan said.

“I think it’s probably a plus for us,” he said.

Nolan said there are 13 black willow trees, nine red maples, five black gums and 35 sweetbay magnolias on the property, He said only two oaks are on the property - a 10-inch-diameter Live oak and a 12-inch water oak.

Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco was concerned about the trees coming down and walked the site with a developer Thursday.

“There are no large oak trees out there at all,” she said, just scrub pines, swamp magnolias and lots of low-growing brush.

She was satisfied no large oaks are coming down.

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


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