Visitors to Hot Springs National Park will soon notice chainsaws being taken to a number of the iconic southern magnolia trees lining Bathhouse Row, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported on Tuesday.
Ten of the trees are slated to be cut down by the end of the summer because they are simply too old, Mark Scott, chief of the national park's resources management and visitors services, said.
"Basically we have identified ones reaching the end of their life expectancy and several that are severely damaged," Scott said, adding that some of the trees are so big, their roots are starting to tear apart concrete around the trunks.
Southern magnolias have a life expectancy of between 80 to 120 years, according to Eastern Forests, a nature guidebook. The trees can grow up to 125 feet tall.
Scott says he is not sure how old the trees are along Bathhouse Row, but there is growing concern they may create a public safety issue. Some of the trunks are mostly hollow and could easily fall, he said.
The trees will be replaced by 15 southern magnolia saplings.