The State of Aiken’s Trees

Aiken Streetscapes and Aiken Land Conservancy (ALC) have contributed funds over the past three years to assist the City in their ongoing proactive tree care. Over this winter, there has been a huge improvement in the western portion of the downtown City grid. Numerous hazardous trees were removed, a substantial amount of deadwooding was completed and we were able to lift the canopy to allow for safe vehicle passage. The job began on Barnwell Avenue NW, in mid-November, at the Morgan Street NW intersection. Collins Tree Care worked west from this starting point and completed the entire area located within Morgan Street NW between Hampton Avenue and Richland Avenue down to Laurens Street. Numerous grand and significant live oaks were cleaned up and thinned to allow for better air movement. We are quite happy with the results — this area will benefit from the work for many years. This is also an area where there will be an opportunity to plant new live oaks and other Aiken favorites in the future.

Dominion Energy informed the City that it has completed the under- grounding of the main power lines along South Boundary all the way to the Chesterfield/Whiskey intersection. This was very welcome news! We anticipate some extensive cleanup work and proactive pruning of these live oaks in the Fall of 2023. Plans will be finalized upon the passing of the City’s upcoming budget. Aiken Streetscapes and ALC are committed to providing funds towards this very important project to preserve and protect the iconic live oaks lining South Boundary Avenue.

Congratulations are in order to Lex Kirkland, City of Aiken Public Services Director, and Aaron Campbell, City of Aiken Horticulturist, on this recent news: “On behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation, congratulations on earning recognition as a 2022 Tree City USA. Residents of your community should be proud to live in a place that makes the planting and care of trees a priority, and you should be proud of a job well done!”

Contributors to this article: Lex Kirkland, City of Aiken Public Services Director, Aaron Campbell, City of Aiken Horticulturist, Dacre Stoker Executive Director, Aiken Streetscapes. Photo by Ginny Southworth