Highland Park’s 150-plus-year-old landmark monarch pecan tree on Armstrong Parkway near Preston Road was huge.
By some accounts, the Big Pecan, as it was known, stood 75-feet-tall and 75-feet-wide before it began the decline that eventually prompted town leaders to agree to its removal.
But did it really cost $27,000 to take it down? Not exactly.
The $27,000 budgeted for its removal covered much more than cutting down the tree and grinding its stump (less than $5,000), according to an email from Kathleen Stewart, director of town services.
Here’s a breakdown so far:
- $2,800 – electrical landscape lighting removal and power decommission
- $13,150 – milling and storing of wood
- $4,875.00 – tree removal and stump grinding
- $3,235.00 – sod replacement and Installation
- $1,800 – irrigation modifications
The town hired Preservation Tree Service to remove the tree and Urban Timber Harvest to mill, kiln-dry, and store the recovered timber. Town staff removed the roots, Stewart said.
Town leaders plan to use the recovered wood for items to commemorate the tree, its history, and importance to the community but were waiting to see how much quality wood it produced before considering the options.
There was concern that some of the trunk could be hollowed out with rot. But after it was cut down, the trunk appeared to contain quality wood – potentially offering the council more options to consider.
Those options and a budget for making items from the wood will be determined at a future meeting, Stewart said.