Tree trouble: Tremont woman vows to protect beloved tree from being torn down

TREMONT- On a bright sunny Friday afternoon, Tammy Layton stands under the shade of the Bradford pear tree she planted on her tree lawn 19 years ago at her Clark Avenue home in Tremont.

Layton isn't just standing under the tree, she has both arms wrapped around a lower branch.

"I planted this beautiful tree in memory of my mom and dad who died in the 90s," Layton said.

"They lived nearby in this area surrounded by factories, so they loved lush green trees. This tree reminds me of them," Layton said.

Layton heard from neighbors that crews were cutting down the trees in the neighborhood for a city streetscape project.

"This is a perfectly healthy tree. They can just trim it. There's no reason to cut it down," Layton said.

While crews started cutting and sawing down trees next door to her home, she said she will hold her tree-hugging protest, as long as crews are working in the neighborhood.

However, by early Friday afternoon, an ODOT worker explained to Tammy that they're also putting in new water lines and part of the water line will attach to the city's tree lawn where the tree is growing.

In order to put in the line, the ODOT worker told her they'll have to start by cutting out the roots to the tree, and they're concerned that will weaken the tree and it could fall causing a hazard.

The ODOT worker told Tammy they will temporarily avoid cutting down her tree until a city arborist can inspect the tree to see if it can survive to have its roots cut.

Tammy called the compromise fair but said she'll continue to stay by the tree while crews continue to cut down other trees in her neighborhood.

"I'll be here until they leave each day and until the arborist inspects our tree," Layton said.

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