The gusty winds Hurricane Irma is expected to blow into Charlotte on Monday could topple some of the city’s aging street trees.
The thousands of stately willow oaks that line streets in older neighborhoods, such as Myers Park, Elizabeth and Dilworth, are a century old. Many are in poor health as they near the end of their lives.
A 2015 Observer analysis of city data found that more than half the city-maintained trees lining streets in the older neighborhoods near uptown are in only middling health. The analysis and an accompanying map did not reflect the maturity and health of privately-owned trees that are set back from the street.
A more recent report by the city said older neighborhoods could lose up to 60 percent of those trees over the next three decades. An aging tree population and new construction could thwart the city’s goal of increasing its tree canopy by 2050.
Charlotte advises residents to call 911 if damaged or fallen trees on city right-of-way have blocked streets. Other damage to city-owned trees can be reported online.