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City News Blog: Two Declining Laurel Oaks Adjacent To Lake Hollingsworth Trail Will Be Removed

LAKELAND, FL (May 28, 2024) | Starting June 10, 2024, the City of Lakeland Parks Division will remove two declining laurel oak trees adjacent to the Lake Hollingsworth multi-use trail.  The trees have noticeable and documented issues that could cause a hazard to those using the trail. The impacted trees are located on the west side of Lake Hollingsworth across from Patten Heights Street and Hibriten Way (pictures attached). The City Arborist confirmed that the two trees need to be removed as hurricane season beings.

In 2017, when Hurricane Irma impacted Lakeland, more laurel oaks fell or had severe damage than any other type of tree along City properties. Many arborists agree that older laurel oaks tend to split and are strongly affected by storm conditions. According to the University of Florida, laurel oaks do not readily compartmentalize decay so pruning cuts, trunk injuries, and root damage can result in trunk cavity and extensive decay.  Because mature laurel oaks tend to hollow, they are not a protected oak species. Live oak, and red oak are more resistant to decay and live longer.

During the tree removal process, crews will be onsite to assist with redirecting those using the Lake Hollingsworth trail.  Tree crews will be working on full removal and stump grinding during the week to least impact heavier weekend use of the trail.  Once the declining trees are removed, they will be replaced with a hardier species.  

The City of Lakeland received Tree City USA status by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2020 for effective urban forestry management. The City of Lakeland boasts over 56,000 publicly managed street and park trees and over 300 distinct tree species. Predominant tree species include slash pine (Pinus elliottii), common crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), live oak (Quercus virginiana), cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto), and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). The public trees in Lakeland provide about 590 acres of the canopy, provide shade, reduce energy use, improve air quality, reduce carbon dioxide levels, mitigate stormwater runoff, and increase property values. 

Photo of tree Photo of tree 2


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.