Tree Trouble Causing Distractions in Jim Thorpe

JIM THORPE -- It's a welcoming sign to people coming in and out of Jim Thorpe, big trees lining homes and businesses on Route 903 and also on side streets.

But it's some low hanging branches that are now causing some problems.

“They are getting bigger. This has been years since they planted the trees, which was a great idea but they have gotten bigger and I am sure there are parts in town that they are hanging over and stuff,” said Jerry Haggerty, Jim Thorpe.

In 1993, 60 were planted around Jim Thorpe by the borough's Shade Tree Commission.

Residents and businesses who wanted trees had to sign an agreement saying they would maintain the trees.

Now years later, some people aren't holding up to their end of the bargain.

Jerry Haggerty from Jim Thorpe had a tree but he has since removed it.

"Traffic making a left here was being blocked by the tree. The tree kept getting bigger and bigger and it was a safety hazard it really was,” said Haggerty.

This is the problem officials are taking about. These trees have grown too big and the branches are now falling too low.

Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko tells Newswatch 16 that the biggest concern is that the big trees are blocking the vision of drivers.

The borough is urging those with trees to trim them up.

"It has added to the, considerably to the look of Jim Thorpe or the streetscape I should say. So we don't want to lose any of the trees but we do need to make sure the trees are taken care of,” said Mayor Michael Sofranko, Jim Thorpe.

And some residents without trees agree.

"Out front, it does kind of obstruct your view. It does make the town look nice but again you have to keep up with them,” said Stephen Stortz, Jim Thorpe.

The Shade Tree Commission has applied for a state grant to get the trees trimmed.

Council hopes they get the money so they don’t have to intervene and remove the trees