For some it may seem like deja vu for Mount Dora, but things aren’t always as they appear. Last week, some residents expressed concern about approximately five to eight towering trees on the City’s shady Overlook Drive appeared to be marked for trimming or removal. That concern caused a flash back to 2015, when approximately 23 shade trees were removed from the city’s historic downtown streets and the canopy was never replaced.
This time is much different. After the public outcry over the incident five years ago, the City contracted an arborist to take an inventory of the City’s trees and their condition. The report identified the marked trees on Overlook as diseased or damaged and the majority of those trees have easily visible signs of such issues to even novice sets of eyes.
“At this time, the trees are not being removed as we are waiting for our Public Works Manager to come back from vacation to advise further on when and how the work can be done,” stated Lisa McDonald, spokesperson for the CIty of Mount Dora. “All precautionary steps are being taken, including using our tree removal permitting process.”
It’s not clear at this point whether the shade trees will be replaced, but City Manager Robin Hayes will give an update about the Overlook Drive trees at Tuesday's public CIty Council Meeting.
Five years ago, residents tied green ribbons on their trees, doors, mailboxes, and cars,to symbolize their request that the Mayor and City Council do more to preserve and restore Mount Dora's arborous charm after downtown’s mature shade canopy was destroyed. The goal was to encourage the city council to develop a timeline to replace fifty percent of the palms planted downtown in 2015 with shade trees similar to those planted in other Florida municipalities, including downtown Eustis and Sanford.
Below are photos of the current diseased and damaged trees on Overlook Drive.
After the 2015 controversy, some officials expressed their desire to replace some of the palms on downtown’s Donnelly Street with small shade trees. However, that hasn’t happened and the shady, quaint canopy that once existed downtown is now a distant memory.
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. For local things to do, click here and for the area's free mobile app, click here.