Picayune needs a tree ordinance

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

Picayune loves its trees, especially its live oaks and most especially the large live oaks.

As the Picayune Item recently reported, city officials have noted those live oaks that are in trouble and applied for, and received, and used a grant to treat and preserve those large, beautiful trees. Another grant application is now being researched to find money to continue that treatment.

However, the city is growing, probably will continue to grow, and it has no ordinance on the books to preserve its trees or to guide the planting of trees so that they don’t become a nuisance or interfere with utility lines both above and below ground.

Such an ordinance is needed and now, before any sudden spurt of growth takes place, is the time to consider and adopt such an ordinance.

Other cities in Mississippi have tree ordinances.

The one adopted by the City of Oxford appears especially good and easy to understand, though it doesn’t mention live oaks in any of its lists of trees, which hopefully any adopted by Picayune will list.

Notably, most of the cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast also have tree ordinances. The ordinance in Ocean Springs appears to be close to the one adopted by the City of Oxford, though the two are hundreds of miles apart.

City officials should study those ordinances and any others they may find and have the city’s attorney draw up one for Picayune, then debate it, tweak and adopt it.

There are some really beautiful trees in Picayune and some really huge live oaks on the side streets. We need an ordinance now to protect that beauty.