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Shoe Tree Meeting-Committee Formed

Saline County Judge Jeff Arey met with residents of the Sardis Community on Thursday Night, June 1st, to discuss the “Shoe” Tree.  This tree, which is a landmark in the community, has been a topic of concern for the residents for several weeks.  The tree has died, and is now a hazard to people traveling through the area and has to be removed from the County Right of Way. 

Judge Arey opened the meeting by explaining the location of the tree, the health of the tree and the growing concerns for the safety of the people that travel North Sardis and Hogue Roads every day. Because it is in the County Right of Way his office is responsible for making a decision about the tree.  He then introduced Greg Rooney, a Certified Arborist, who went into great detail about the tree’s condition.  According to Mr. Rooney the tree died because of its age, and its location.  Using recent pictures of the tree, Mr. Rooney explained that there is a crack that travels from the base of the tree to about 7’ high, and the heart of the tree is completely dead.  He said that it is very unstable and there is no viable option except for removal.  Randy Ellison with the Arkansas Forestry Commission then spoke, agreeing with Mr. Rooney’s assessment of the tree.

Judge Arey asked for volunteers to form a committee to work with him in determining a safe way to memorialize the tree and its importance to the community. The committee will make recommendations of what to do with the trunk of the tree once it is removed, and ideas for a memorial at the spot where the tree stood.  The committee will be comprised of Chuck Sanders, Kathy Crone, Brenda Seal, John Cohen and Mel Kirby.

Judge Arey assured the audience that the public will be notified in advance before the tree is removed.