Why were they specifically chosen for planting along Gessner? Years ago, the Memorial Management District (MMD) selected Bald Cypress as the “Gessner Street Tree”; Bald Cypress were installed from Barryknoll to I-10 south; and more recently are being installed to W-140/Briar Branch (north of I-10). Bald Cypress was selected by the Spring Branch Management District (SBMD) for Gessner from Briar Branch to Neuens, the for proposed/current construction to achieve a consistent street tree on Gessner that matches what has already been planted.
Who will maintain them? Depending on the location, either MMD or SBMD.
They are obstructing drivers’ field of vision. What will be done about this? Leaves and branches frequently block storm water from draining. How will the tree debris be handled? Maintenance such as these situations are part of the maintenance program being handled by the respective management district. These trees were planted to comply with the City of Houston’s planting of street trees in public street replacement projects such as Gessner and these trees were planted in accordance with applicable city ordinances.
Will their root systems break up the sidewalks and streets? Will they eventually destroy our water and drainage infrastructure? Bald Cypress are among the best “approved street tree” according to the City of Houston in terms of NOT lifting sidewalk pavement and curbs and not impacting other infrastructure.
Some of these trees are planted directly beneath power lines. What will be done about them once they grow too big? Cypress trees planted years ago on Gessner south of I-10 are under power lines on the west side of street and are beautiful and doing quite well. Those trees are all maintained by MMD, but all trees planted will be maintained by their respective management districts.
How will the trees in the esplanades be maintained to prevent infrastructure damage and address line of sight concerns? Trees are all planted in compliance with the City of Houston design standards relative to line of sight and infrastructure location.
Will the trees be “trained” to meet over the roadway? Are they expected to be a major source of shade? In some locations on Gessner it is possible that the trees will form a “shaded canopy”; however, because of the wide, 3-lane width of Gessner and planting area limitations, these instances will be the exception and not the rule.
Cars speed up and down Gessner all the time. What will be done should a tree be damaged by a passing vehicle? For the next 2 years, the construction contractor will be required to replace any damaged tree. After the two years, the respective management district maintaining the trees will replant as necessary.