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Tree Root Removal Cross City
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By: Kyle Rogers

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pink markings along trees in Harrisburg remain a mystery to local officials.

CBS 21 News contacted spokespeople from PennDOT and the City of Harrisburg who are trying to figure out how more than a dozen pink Xs popped up on trees along Front Street. The markings traditionally allude to the removal of a tree.

Earlier this month, PennDOT began a transformation process along the city’s riverside roadway.

It’s slated to become a two-lane street with a bike lane. In doing so, PennDOT has to remove some trees on both sides of the street since they’re installing cross walks.

Some trees along properties on Front Street have been removed. Four trees, two at each intersection, on the river side are expected to be cut down where Front Street meets Emerald and Radnor streets.

“We don’t just cut down trees because we don’t like trees,” said Fritzi Schreffler, a spokeswoman for PennDOT. “It truly comes down with a safety factor.”

Schreffler said those trees are to come down because it would be difficult for pedestrians to see oncoming traffic.

Of the trees already cut, some were found to be close to dead, said Schreffer.

But, PennDOT’s contractor plans to remove only those four trees mentioned. The contractor painted pink Xs on the road in front of the trees to be removed, Schreffler said.

The pink Xs concerned others on the dozens of trees who thought those trees would be removed.

A city spokeswoman said the markings are now under investigation since the city was unaware of those additional markings. There was concern it could be a prank to have somebody accidentally remove those trees.

So, the question remains: who did it?

Schreffler said property owners who had trees removed would be given the tree, if they want, to keep the wood. Otherwise, if the tree is healthy enough, it likely would be converted to mulch.

The on-going construction could last several months. The “transformation” includes renovating eroding curbs, too.

Opponents plan to take to Harrisburg City Council to share concerns that the public was not involved in the decision to cut down the trees.

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