Mulch added to asphalted trees downtown after concerns raised
Some of the cold-mix asphalt surrounding a couple of downtown trees has been removed and replaced with mulch, a city official confirmed Wednesday.
City workers initially added cold-mix asphalt to the bases of two trees at Ouellette and University Avenues in response to safety concerns over exposed roots and stumps and uneven sidewalks.
But some residents raised concerns about how the asphalt would affect the health of the local trees.
"You wouldn't think trees really grow that well like that," Evan Gignac said Tuesday. "The trees would be looking nice if they were surrounded by mulch or grass or whatever, but not really a good look."
City workers responded to those aesthetic concerns by adding mulch, said Phong Nguy, manager of operations in public works. He told CBC via email the mulch improve appearances while still keeping pedestrians safe.
Nguy previously said the asphalt was a temporary fix while a streetscaping plan was in the works, and added that the cold-mix — not hot tar — asphalt wouldn't harm the health of the tree.
The change comes as the city prepares to hold an open house Wednesday night on the first proposed urban forest management plan, which is open to the public and will help shape the city's long-term tree management plans.