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City: KU to suspend tree removal until mid-January

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 7:20 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington and KU reached a new agreement Thursday to stop the removal of trees in the city.

The utility company will suspend the removal of any trees until mid-January at the soonest, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

This comes after talks between Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and Kentucky Utilities over trees cut in the Lansdowne Drive area.

Gorton said this agreement is a first step victory for the city.

“I appreciate KU for listening yesterday, for extending the moratorium on cutting, and for agreeing to continue negotiations on an appropriate process that preserves our electrical grid and protects our trees going forward. I remain convinced that we can do both, and hope that this gives us an opportunity to find a new path,” said Mayor Gorton in a statement.

“Our work is critical to the safety and reliability of the system,” KU Spokesperson Daniel Lowry told WKYT. “We are glad to have open communication and a good working relationship with the mayor and city councilmembers. That’s why we have met with them more than 20 times on this issue, as well as numerous times with homeowner associations and property owners.”

The city will also put a hold on the motion filed in court for a temporary injunction, but said they would not withdraw it so they could proceed with court action if needed.

KU and the city of Lexington also agreed that KU will replant trees in the Lansdown median and will continue its work on Richmond Road.

Lowry told WKYT for every tree removed in the medians KU is planting at least one back with compatible species, such as kousa dogwoods, coralburst crabapples, morning sun redbuds and others.

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