Residents raise concerns over tree removal in Noblesville


The Noblesville Common Council heard from several residents during its June 25 meeting about tree removal that has taken place in the Oakmont neighborhood in Noblesville.

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen has previously stated the removal of more than 100 trees is to improve sidewalks in the area. At the meeting, he said the conversations surrounding the tree removal have been difficult, and the city has tried to listen to residents.

Tree removal in the neighborhood began June 24. Courtney Kulp of 17946 Forreston Oak Dr. said it is a “tragedy” to have lost as many trees as the city already has.

“It was only after collective outrage that the number of trees was reduced once and then again. So, trees are suddenly getting saved because we’re putting pressure on you guys,” Kulp said.

According to Noblesville Urban Forester John Easley, the current number of trees planned to be removed is 133, which differs from the original total of 166.

“Originally, we were including unapproved species that will get too large and cause uplifting in the sidewalk panels so high the panels have to be redone,” Easley said. “That makes the trees unstable, so they tend to fall over. That’s why the 133 have to come out. But there are some smaller trees that aren’t really impacting the sidewalks yet, but they will. So, we took those off the list.”

Several residents have expressed concerns via social media and continued to do so at the meeting.

Noblesville resident Myra Ping, who has lived downtown for nearly three years, said she appreciates the mayor’s comments and explanations on why trees benefit the city but wonders if city officials are making “all possible efforts to retain big trees.”

“I believe that if a tree is diseased, it should be removed, and I understand and see the problems caused by tree roots resulting in uneven sidewalks,” Ping said. “But even in the past two days, I have found two articles about methods that other cities are using to solve their tree and sidewalk issues that don’t include removing the trees.”

Resident Jeff McCarty, who has lived in Noblesville for nine years, said he moved to the city for its charm.

“Cities around the world, all over the United States, have figured out ways to save our trees,” McCarty said. “If you cut down our mature trees, it will dramatically change the charm of our city.”

Wesley Rodermund lives on Hardin Oak Drive in Noblesville and said her street looks like a “war zone.”

“There’s not a person (on my street) that doesn’t feel physically violated by this,” Rodermund said. “They have come into our home and ripped out the beauty of our street, and they’re going to continue to do it all over our neighborhood.”

Erin Brattain, a resident of Oakmont in Noblesville who works for Noblesville schools, has lived in the city since 1992. She is also upset about the tree removal “as a taxpayer.”

“We feel the communication has been very poor to the residents about this project and the timeline,” Brattain said. “Things continue to change as we progress, and again, things haven’t been transparent”

Brattain said she does not trust that the city has heard and discussed all the resident’s concerns and looked into all options.

Lisa Taylor, who has lived on Hardin Oak Drive for 25 years, said she looked forward to moving to Noblesville because it was established and had “beautiful trees.”

“I’m assuming this is going to happen to other neighborhoods, but there’s got to be a way you can do this without destroying everything that’s beautiful about our neighborhood,” Taylor said.