Town looks to trim, brace storm-battered live oak trees

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After being beaten by two hurricanes during the past two years, Wrightsville Beach officials are exploring how to perform maintenance of the town’s revered live oak trees.

At the Sept. 12 Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen meeting, town manager Tim Owens proposed bringing in an arborist to trim many of the town’s live oaks trees, with the board encouraging some additional research and exploration of funding sources before moving ahead with the project. research other options before instructing the town staff to act.

Owens presented one estimate, from Joshua Tree of Wilmington, which presented $83,800 in costs to trim the town’s trees, and cable and brace three other trees. With the estimate broken into specific groupings of trees, Mayor Bill Blair said that some of the tree’s maintenance costs could come from Tourist Development Authority funds. Blair, who sits on the TDA board, said he would research what funding options were available, speculating that trimming trees along Causeway Drive near the entrance to Wrightsville Beach, and those in other scenic locations, could be considered a tourism-related fund. Neighborhood trees may not be eligible for the funding, some of which is generated from the county’s hotel tax, he said.

Owens said that the tree trimming project will also set a policy for future tree maintenance around the town.

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