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Trees lining Saxonburg's Main Street to be banned by 2024

Saxonburg looking for alternatives with state set to ban trees lining Main Street
Saxonburg looking for alternatives with state set to ban trees lining Main Street 01:59

SAXONBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- All the trees welcoming you to the Main Street of Saxonburg have to go.

The dwarf flowering pear was recently declared invasive. Now the state says Saxonburg needs to get rid of the trees by next year.

When you visit Saxonburg, the first thing you notice is the dozens of dwarf flowering pear trees that line Main Street. When in bloom, people say nothing compares.

"They're beautiful, I mean they really are in the spring. They line the whole street, they bloom, the birds like the pears on the trees," Batch owner Megan Pohl said. 

Once a popular choice to beautify streets like Main Street, the dwarf flowering pear tree has been added to the state's noxious weed list and will be banned in the state by 2025. The problem is the original trees were sterile, but when cross-pollinated with other trees in the landscape, they create seeds that get transplanted by birds. 

"We think for this year, we're going to go ahead and let them bloom. Once we make a decision, there's grants available in Pennsylvania for full replacements and we'll look into those options in 2025," said borough manager Steven May. 

May says while the council is still undecided on what would replace the 25 trees, they do have some ideas, including trees native to Pennsylvania that would allow room for foot traffic, and double hanging baskets attached to a pole.

"There's many options that we can find to help and the business owners in town can always help by just making their storefronts -- there's not an empty storefront in town right, so we can all work together," Pohl said. 

Council will again address the tree removal at next month's meeting.

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