The three magnolia trees that have stood on the historic Butts County Courthouse property for 67 years will be cut down within the next week and eventually replaced with smaller trees after it was found the roots of the large trees caused damage to the foundation and pipes of the courthouse, as well as damage to city infrastructure in the area.

The three trees, which are on the corners of Oak and Third streets, Oak and Second streets, and North Mulberry and Second streets, were planted by the Magnolia Garden Club in 1954, according to Deputy County Manager Michael Brewer.

County Manager Brad Johnson advised the Board of Commissioners of the plan to remove the trees at their March 8 meeting, stating that the cost to repair the damage to the courthouse foundation and pipes was almost $200,000, and that the city also had to replace some of its infrastructure around the courthouse due to root damage.

“The point is not that we’re trying to take the trees down, but they are causing damage to the infrastructure,” Johnson said. “Some of the roots are longer than the trees are high, and they are almost touching each other.”

Brewer said after the meeting that they will be replacing the magnolias with other trees, but have not made a final decision.

“We are heavily leaning towards a deciduous tree such as a maple that would have beautiful color during the fall and a nice green canopy during spring and summer,” Brewer said. “One of the ideas we talked about was the possibility of planning at least one type of evergreen that would work as a Christmas tree during the holiday season and could be decorated and strung with lights.”

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Senior Reporter

I have worked for community newspapers in Butts, Henry, Newton, Rockdale, and Upson counties for 30 years. I was Editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus from 1993-1999, and returned to the Progress-Argus as Senior Reporter in 2019.

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