Did It Really Cost $27,000 To Remove the Big Pecan?

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

Total: $25,860

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.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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