City and County partner to save trees near the airport


ALAMOSA — Some of the oldest and arguably most majestic trees in the City of Alamosa must be trimmed for airplane approach safety reasons at the municipal cemetery adjacent to the San Luis Valley Airport in Alamosa. San Luis Valley Airport Manager Will Hickman notified the City in early May that six Colorado Blue Spruce trees interfere with FAA minimum landing clearances north of the Runway 20 approach.

The height of the trees also prevents circling approaches to land at night. City Parks Manager Jeremy Arellano estimates the trees are close to 100 years old. In consultation with the City of Alamosa Tree Board, the decision to trim the trees versus removal and replacement was made given their mature and healthy stature and ability to withstand some minor pruning.

Though “topping” an evergreen tree can be problematic; methods will be used to promote continued tree health and traditional aesthetics while removing enough height to alow for at least five years of growth. The City and County have agreed to split the costs of trimming of the trees; a specialist contractor is being brought in given the height the work must be completed at.

Will Hickman stated “We greatly appreciate the City working with us to address pilot and aircraft safety. The beautiful trees have probably been there longer than the airport and they help beautify the cemetery and airport alike.”

“Trees play such an important role in our high desert community” according to City Parks, Recreation and Library Director Andy Rice “This year, we get to celebrate 30 years as a Tree City USA in Alamosa. That is quite an accomplishment and a testament to the long-term commitment our community has shown to trees and their importance in Alamosa. We also recognize the absolute crucial nature commercial air service serves in our community.

We are pleased to have reached a resolution that will keep the trees and comply with airport safety precautions and we are grateful for the collaboration with Alamosa County.”

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