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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Richard Rasmussen HISTORIC TREES: A pedestrian walks along historic Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park Monday under the shade of magnolia trees. Ten of the trees are slated to be cut down.

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.

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  • Packman
    May 22, 2018 at 10:05 a.m.

    Sh*t! I guess this has to be done but really bad. Loved those trees for many, many years.

  • kellyinlrarusa
    May 22, 2018 at 11:06 a.m.

    well at least they are planting the same kind back in place.

  • KnuckleBall
    May 22, 2018 at 11:14 a.m.

    Bottom Line is they don't know how old the trees are, why not have them checked by an expert instead of guessing. Just because some of them are hollow, doesn't mean they are going to fall anytime soon. Most likely someone has complained that don't know what they are talking about.....

  • Razorbacks901
    May 22, 2018 at 2:24 p.m.

    Any forest ranger from the area can look at the trees and give them good advice about the trees. I say trim the trees if needed and let them stay.

  • itryed
    May 22, 2018 at 4 p.m.

    They're cutting off their nose

  • wragar
    May 27, 2018 at 1:20 p.m.

    We need to call in a phd Arborist to give a confirmation on how old the trees are definitively and if the roots and cylinder of the trees are in good shape. Patty Erwin in Fayetteville AR is a good urban forestery coordinator for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Also there are 2 alternate paths to be taken if they have to be removed. TWO trees at a time could be removed every two years to minimize the damage to the aesthetics of bathhouse row and it's beauty in regard to shade and tourism. These trees protect visitors from rain and sun during wet and hot days. the 2nd alternative would be to Move the sidewalk or put in a differnt kind of walkway. I'm sure we citizens could come up with a lot of different ideas that would be better than a drastic simple solution without citizen input. thanks and i agree with all the comments made so far. IF they are to replant then maybe we should replant with a fruit or nut tree in some of spaces or a tree with a less obtrusive root system. We need to check the roots of these trees too. IF they are solid and not spongy then the trees have good foundations.

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