Dying oak tree in Gulfport is putting daycare kids in danger

A large oak tree over 200 years old is causing a big problem for a daycare in Gulfport. Experts say the dying tree is a danger to the 170 children that belong to Kid Academy. Now, the owner is fighting city officials to have the oak removed.
At Kid Academy, safety is the number one mission, but lately an old oak tree that sits outside the daycare is growing away from that goal. Arborists have said the dying tree is dangerous and parents, like Danielle Council, are worried. “Knowing that my son is sitting in a classroom within falling distance of that tree is definitely concerning.”
Building damage, damage to vehicles and death, those are three potential threats local arborists say the dying tree could cause if it’s not removed. The owner of Kid Academy Matt Dickens put signs up notifying guests not to park underneath the tree after getting written opinions from the tree experts. One hundred and seventy children belong to Kid Academy in Gulfport.
After the experts informed the school the tree was a liability issue, Dickens had to delay his plans to expand. “Five to six more classrooms, a cafeteria, another playground, and possibly, if I don’t spend all my money fighting the tree, a splash pad for the kids.”
The Gulfport Planning Commission rejected Dickens request to have the tree removed from the property. The next step is taking the matter up with the city council in early September. Parent Stephanie Beaver said, “If there was anything we could hang our hat on that this tree was safe there then that would be great, but safe is a not a word used to describe the tree.”
According to professionals, some of the limbs on the tree weigh over 300 pounds. “I would even be willing to try to preserve the tree, if I can get a tree expert, arborist, to actually get a report that says the tree is safe and healthy,” said Dickens.

Categories: Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *