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La Crosse considering removing 30-foot tree, downtown, that’s uprooting sidewalk

Brad Williams

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Some trees in downtown La Crosse are getting to be too big, especially the roots, and damaging the sidewalks and curbs. 

To avoid a situation where someone could trip, the city asked for permission to remove a tree outside The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor on Pearl Street, downtown. 

Dani Peterslie at the Pearl said folks on the street don’t always pay attention.

“We have a lot of kids, we have pregnant moms that come in,” she said. “We’ve got strollers and walkers and people who are rollerblading by as someone’s walking by.”

One pedestrian fell and hurt his head recently when walking near that tree on Pearl Street.

Property owner T.J. Peterslie said he didn’t expect the tree to grow so much, when it was planted as part of a downtown beautification project. Now, however, it’s about 30 feet tall, with roots probably extending 30 feet underground.

Forestry specialist Dan Trussoni from the park department said cutting down the tree won’t solve the problem, unless the roots beneath the street are also removed. 

A possible solution could be brought to the park board in time for its June meeting.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.