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Mature trees may be removed to make way for new high school track

June 20, 2011 |  8:53 am

Burbank city officials may have a handful of half-century-old trees removed because their roots and canopies could damage a new track planned for John Burroughs High School.

A dozen camphor trees along the 300 block of North Keystone Street in Burbank line the sidewalk across from residential homes and will hang over the new track at Memorial Field, which is under construction, according to the Burbank Leader. Debris from the trees -- twigs, leaves and berries -- could damage the track and prove difficult to clean. And the trees' roots could damage the synthetic track and field surfaces, city officials say.

"I would err on the side of safety just because of the cost factor involved here," said Mayor Jess Talamantes, who sits on the project's committee. Talamantes said he wanted to avoid, at some future point, "that track lifting up due to roots when it could have been averted."

But residents who live in the area said it would be a shame to cut the trees down.

"It's true they can be invasive and they can be tenacious, but they provide great shade," said Barbara Buchanan, who has lived in her home for 20 years. "I really hope they don't cut them down, and I don't think alternatives will provide nearly as much benefit for the shade or the atmosphere."

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-- Gretchen Meier, Times Community News

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