“People were really emotional about it,” said one business owner. “They were coming up to the trees and hugging them in tears.”

Mount Shasta Public Works Director Rod Bryan described the recent removal of 14 liquidambar trees in downtown Mount Shasta as being “part of an on-going and phased approach to replacing the problematic trees with more appropriate street tree species.”

He said the City “has received Regional Surface Transportation Program funding in the past, and again this year, to replace broken, uneven, and cracked sidewalks due to the roots of the trees.”

Eleven Flowering Pear trees will be replanted to replace the trees that were removed.

Expressions of appreciation for the trees were tied to stumps, and flowers and crystals were placed on some of them Tuesday.

“People were really emotional about it,” said one business owner. “They were coming up to the trees and hugging them in tears.”

Some citizens expressed concern about not being notified about the tree cutting, while others said they were disappointed but understood it needed to be done.

Many of the liquidambar trees were planted as one of the early downtown beautification efforts by the Mountain Runners with funds from the July 4th Walk/Run back in the 1980s.

But problems caused by the roots have been an issue for many years, and some of the trees were replaced in 2012.

Bryan said the current sidewalk project was advertised in the local newspaper.

“They are being replaced by trees that are more conducive to not destroying the sidewalks and curbs,” said City Manager Bruce Pope. “There is a long range plan to replace the sidewalk and curbs but not now.”