A large pecan tree on the City’s Main Plaza is suffering from significant decay and a fungal infection, which has led to the decision to remove the tree over safety concerns. The approximately 50-foot tall, 150-year-old tree is considered “high-hazard” after suffering a history of failures, such as falling branches, which poses a safety hazard to pedestrians and traffic in the area.
The tree is a recognizable piece of the Main Plaza, in part due to the large yellow ribbon that has been displayed on it for many years. More than 20 years ago, a group of residents placed yellow ribbons on several trees on Main Plaza as a way to honor and remember members of the US military who were serving in conflicts in the Middle East. Over the years, the ribbons were consolidated to just the one on the pecan tree and it has remained in place as a tribute to America’s service members, and it will continue to be displayed on Main Plaza, but will be relocated to a different tree.
The pecan tree, which sits on the West San Antonio Street side of the Main Plaza, will be removed on January 24, 2024, leading to some delays for drivers using the downtown traffic circle. Beginning at approximately 8am, professional contractors hired by the City will close the inner lane of traffic in order to begin the process of removing the tree in large but manageable pieces. Once the trunk has been removed, they will then use a stump grinder to remove the tree stump from the ground. The inner lane of traffic on the Main Plaza will remain closed through the process, which is expected to last throughout most of the day.
Once the tree has been removed, the City will plant a new 100-gallon Monterrey Oak tree in the same general area on the Main Plaza. Severe drought, coupled with intense freezes over the last few years, have placed trees in the community, especially older trees, under a large amount of strain, which could lead to continued tree-health issues. The City of New Braunfels Urban Forester is responsible for the care and maintenance of the City’s tree population and will continue to provide analysis and early detection of trees that may pose a safety hazard to the public.