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      Planning the future of Hannibal's city and park trees

      Part of what makes any city beautiful is its trees.

      The city of Hannibal has just received the results of a assessment conducted by the Davey Resource Group from St. Louis, that will help it protect and grow its tree population for many years to come.

      Overall we assessed that the trees were in fair to good condition," Cory Meyer with the Davey Resource Group said. "They definitely need some pruning but overall it's a pretty good tree population. We're happy with what we found."

      Meyer's company did a complete assessment of all the public street and park trees in Hannibal.

      "Doing that we got an idea of species diversity, condition of all the trees, to give the city an idea of what kind of maintenance needs to be done," Meyer said.

      Hannibal City Manager Jeff LaGarce says that the city learned some important new information.

      "We have some trees that aren't in such good condition and we have some that really need to come out," LaGarce said. "I think the number was 30 that need to come out relatively immediately. If they don't come out now they're gonna come out the next time we have a storm and that's the last thing we need."

      Kristy Trevathan, the president of the City of Hannibal Tree Board says that the information from the survey will be beneficial to the city's parks and street departments.

      "They'll be able to upload this information into their database," Trevathan said. "They'll be able to make a schedule of times of the year, maybe when you need to be pruning. Time of the year when you need to be taking out dead trees and then there's a time of year when you could be planting new trees."

      "As this inventory is kept up to date, we'll know where those priority areas are and which trees we need to take out before they end up falling causing damage, hurting somebody," LaGarce said.

      Cory Meyer also said that the city only has a five percent ash tree population which is good news when it comes to concerns over the emerald ash borer.

      But that number does not include personal ash trees owned by the general public.