Diseased trees removed from campus site
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Several mature trees, including oaks and magnolias, were removed from the front of the old Newnan Hospital, which is being turned into the University of West Georgia’s Newnan campus.
During the past several months of construction at the Jackson Street site north of downtown Newnan, the trees were protected from construction traffic with fences but, as it turns out, the oaks were in bad shape.
“The majority were diseased and the arborist recommended they be removed,” said Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips.
The magnolias weren’t diseased. Instead, they were removed because they blocked the view of the building. “By removing them we will be able to develop the campus lawn as shown in the master plan,” Phillips said.
The city recently committed an additional $1.6 million in funding for the project, which will provide more parking lots, sidewalks, the campus green, and landscaping.
Mike Furbush, city of Newnan landscape architect, said that, when he went in to take a closer look at the trees “all of those big oaks were in very poor condition.”
“There were areas where there were branches that had already fallen out,” Furbush said. Some were “weighted really heavily toward one side and had serious areas of decay.”
Since the front lawn of the college campus is expected to be a place where people will spend a lot of time, the trees could become a liability. Furbush said he was shocked by how unhealthy the trees were. He asked two arborists to come out and look for themselves. “They had an even worse evaluation of the trees than mine,” he said.
As for the magnolias, there was some talk of removing the lower limbs, similar to what was done next door at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, but “they weren’t really suited” to that, Furbush said.