We at the Spring Branch Management District, along with Councilmember Stardig’s, office have received several concerned phone calls and emails regarding the current progress upgrading the esplanades along Gessner from Hammerly to Kempwood. The trees removed in this area were Bradford Pears which had reached their expected life span, were in clear decline, and presented safety issues from falling limbs. There are also Sweet Gums in the medians in this area which are in good health and are not being removed. As part of the current project, there will be full replacement trees for every tree removed, and more. The project will also provide new and more soil in the median for the trees to grow in, plus irrigation, both of which will support rapid and healthy growth, and longevity. The trees that were removed fell under the jurisdiction of the City of Houston Forestry specialists who reviewed and approved their removal. The final result will see median trees being added by this project and in numbers exceeding what was originally in the medians. Our goal is to create a unified feel across the district. This does not mean that all esplanades will be identical, but they will all fit the “style” of Spring Branch. We would never dream of removing trees without the intention of replacing them with more viable and longer lasting native species.
The trees planted along the right of way were planted by the City and in accordance with City’s accepted standards; there is a 24-month warranty period for replacement, so if trees die, they will be replaced. The selected tree, Bald Cypress, is the preferred street tree for urban conditions since it has far less impact on paving / sidewalk than other tree options (for instance, Live Oaks).
Please also sign up to receive our e-newsletter and visit https://sbmd.org/7projectstofollow/ to keep up to date on all of the Projects to Follow around the district! This link also has the Tree FAQs uploaded as well as the final design for the esplanades along Gessner.