Downtown square gets new oak trees

Published 10:15 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

The square in Downtown Mocksville is taking shape.

Last Friday, four new willow oak trees were planted, one in each quadrant. The previous week, new sidewalks were installed.

While there is still some construction going on to prepare for new stoplight arms (no overhead wires) and pavement, town officials are pleased with progress.

The trees, about 15-feet tall each, were purchased in South Carolina for about $1,300 each. McCoy’s Tree Service picked out the trees and planted them.

The tree size wasn’t chosen because of the price or the potential problems with planting.

“The town replanted the tree size under the recommendations made from the city arborist with Statesville, who volunteered his time to come and make a presentation to the town,” said Town Manager Marcus Abernethey. “He recommended that a smaller tree, less than four inches in caliper, be planted instead of a larger, mature tree.”

It is estimated the trees planted are five to seven years old, and can grow 1-2 feet per year.

The smaller trees fare better when transplanted, Abernethey said, and are less likely to suffer root damage, which could stunt growth and cause an early death.

“I have been very impressed with the quality of work being performed,” Abernethy said. “The landscaper delivered and installed the trees, prepped the site and mulched the area around the trees.”

Benches will be added in each quadrant.

“The trees can grow rather quickly,” he said, “and can reach a full height of up to 120 feet tall.”

The town also purchased two Shumard oak trees, the ones favored in a poll conducted by the town, that will be planted at the new downtown park later this fall.