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Posted: February 6, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Trees on square get treatments

Gabriel Khouli/

With Arbor Day a couple of weeks away, the trees on the square were getting their monthly maintenance to keep them healthy.

Arbor Equity was hired by Covington officials this year to maintain the trees, and the company’s workers were on the square Wednesday pruning branches, aerating the soil and treating trees for diseases and insects.

"We’re trying to turn the health of the trees around and encourage the health and vigor of the trees," said Dan Bauer, owner of Arbor Equity and a certified master arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture.

While the iconic magnolia trees are in pretty good shape, the maples around the square are in more danger, Bauer said.

The city pays Arbor Equity around $1,200 per month to take care of the trees on the square and at Academy Springs Park, Bauer said.

"It’s never one thing that kills a tree, other than a lightning strike. There are multiple factors," Bauer said. "Stress from insects, diseases, mechanical damage, repetition, that would kill a tree."

Bauer said the magnolias look OK for mature trees, though some of the growth is a little lacking in color.

"We’re not seeing the chlorophyll we’d like to see, but that’s stuff we can remediate," Bauer said.

He said some bracing cables that connect branches and prevent them from breaking need to be replaced.

"It’s the overall health we need to keep going in order to maintain the larger trees as opposed to having to remove and put in new young trees," Bauer said.

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