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Posted on: November 6, 2023

VIDEO: Historic Downtown Business District Tree Replacement Planned

Ginkgo and Black-Gum

The City of Murfreesboro Street Department anticipates the removal of female Ginkgo trees along East Main Street in the Historic Downtown Business District. The Ginkgo trees will be replaced with native Black Gum trees, one of the best honey-producing trees in the world.   


“Over the last seven to eight years, urban environmental and the Street Department have injected eleven female Ginkgo trees along East Main Street with a plant growth regulator to try to eliminate the fruit that the trees produce,” said Public Works Executive Director Raymond Hills. “While the treatments have reduced the fruit over the years, our efforts have far from eliminated the fruit.”  

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Fruit from female Ginkgo trees produces a very foul odor and causes a slip hazard. For these reasons, the City plans to remove the Ginkgo trees and replace them with native Black Gum trees. The Street Department decided not to replace the female Ginkgo trees with male Ginkgo trees for several reasons, chiefly that tree nurseries have stated that they are not 100 percent certain that the Ginkgo trees they are selling are male.  


Two-inch caliper Black Gum trees will be planted as replacements. After the last trees are removed, all stumps will be extracted, and the new Black Gum trees installed.  


“The Black Gum trees will provide attractive fall colors and establish some diversity in our urban forest in the downtown area,” said Carson Elder, City Arborist for the Street Department. 


In past years, urban environmental, which is now part of the Street Department, began a phasing tree replacement program in the Historic Downtown Business District, including removal of some Honey locust trees. The trees were replaced by ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtles. The program also included planting of Lacebark Elm trees. Previously, ‘Bosque’ Elm trees were selected as the canopy tree to replace the ‘Halka’ Honey Locust. The ‘Bosque’ exhibited incredible heat and drought tolerance and does very well as a street tree in narrow or restricted planting areas. 

The Street Department has been careful to select tree species that are resistant to several diseases affecting the existing Honey locust trees. The Street Department continues the process of replacing the ‘Bosque’ Elm as the canopy and the ‘Natchez’ Crape Myrtle as the flowering ornamental tree.  

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