Gainesville motorists should be advised that the Green Street lane that turns right onto E.E. Butler will be blocked off this afternoon while Jackson EMC prunes the Green Street holly tree.
The tree, located at the beginning of Green Street where it meets West Academy, needs to be pruned for its health and the safety of pedestrians walking on Green Street, said Doug Langman, sergeant at arms for the Gainesville Rotary Club, the organization responsible for pruning the tree.
"The branches are encroaching into the sidewalk almost to the extent that it would encroach into the street," Langman said of the tree he calls a "Gainesville institution."
Though the city and the state Department of Transportation are responsible for maintaining the right of way, Gainesville’s Rotary Club has historically assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the tree and the triangular garden next to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.
"We assume it’s our responsibility," Langman said.
Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper said he hopes the pruning will be finished and the lane reopened by the time the afternoon rush begins, and he advises those traveling toward E.E. Butler from West Academy to turn right one intersection ahead and go to E.E. Butler via Brenau Avenue.
Langman said people should know about the tree’s pruning for more than traffic purposes, however.
"That tree is going to look radically different after it’s pruned," Langman said. "It’s going to look a little bit bad before it gets better.