Breaking News
More () »

Lakeshore Park plans to remove trees as part of construction, and some park visitors are not happy

Some of the trees set to be removed are affected by "Bacterial Leaf Scorch," according to officials.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When Elle Colquitt visited Lakeshore Park, she said what she saw took her by surprise. 

“We saw all these 'X's on the trees. Big, big, huge 'X's red as bright as possible; we were quite alarmed,” said Colquitt. 

She was shocked because those big red marks meant those trees would be coming down as part of the Lakeshore Park Conservancy's construction plan. It also includes several additions, including a baseball field, a soccer complex and a pickleball court. 

“A conservancy to me protects our trees, and conservancy doesn't need to be more concerned about sports than nature,” said Colquitt. 

Julieanne Foy, the park's executive director, says the plan calls for some building some new structures. However, in the midst of construction, the park is facing an issue. 

A disease called "Bacterial Leaf Scorch" is killing trees across Knoxville. The disease continues to be an issue, especially at Lakeshore Park. The area the infestation hit the park the hardest is along a row of Plane Trees and Sycamores around where the proposed ballfields will be.

The infestation also impacted trees in Sequoyah Park, Harriet Tubman Park, Neyland Greenway, and Third Creek Greenway. Most of the Pin Oaks, Sycamores and Plane Trees could be impacted in those parks over the next few years.

The row of Planetrees lining the greenway on the south side of Lakeshore Park saw around two affected trees in 2019, around five trees in 2020, and there were around 12 affected by the infestation in 2021.

“So those trees are not healthy and are likely to die within the next couple of years,”  said Foy. 

While those trees may come down soon, Colquitt said she thinks the other trees should stay. She also has other concerns because of the new sports complexes. 

“I fear that it will be noisier; it won't be the peaceful/. I mean, this is a very peaceful, beautiful park to be in,” she said. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out