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Trees poisoned in Farragut

Motorists along the eastbound Interstate from Campbell Station Road or in Wild Wing Café’s parking lot may have noticed a large barren strip along I-40.

The trees in the area were cleared by TDOT after being poisoned.

“Apparently over the past couple of years, somebody’s been poisoning the trees right there for unknown reasons,” said Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer.

This person used Spike herbicide, which “runs with rainwater and gets in the root systems,” killing everything.

“I don’t know why somebody would do it,” Palmer said.

“Certainly, I am angry and extremely disappointed that somebody would deliberately poison our trees,” said Alderman Tom Rosseel.

“It’s sort of on the front door to Farragut and I think this is something that I hope the Town and T-DOT can work together to replace those trees as soon as possible,” he added.

The affected area is not within Town limits but is “on T-DOT property,” Palmer said.

TDOT came out to investigate after receiving complaints from area residents and found several dead and fallen trees.

“Some staff members met with Ed Lail, with T-DOT … their horticulturalist, and he said the trees were Spiked. T-DOT went in there and cleaned them out,” said Community Development Director Ruth Hawk in a phone message.

“He did say the soil was not contaminated,” she added.

TDOT cleared the area, leaving a large barren patch along the eastbound Interstate.

“From Wild Wing’s parking lot, you can now see the Interstate and the on-ramp,” Palmer said.

TDOT’s responsibility ends there.

“They are going to leave it the way it is,” Palmer said, adding that the trees were not part of any planned sound or sight buffer, but “just growth over the years.”

Palmer will present the matter to the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its meeting Sept. 11 to see if the Town should replant the strip with redbuds, winter king hawthorn, southern blackhaw and serviceberry trees.

Palmer called the I-40 and Campbell Station interchange a “gateway to the Town,” saying, “The area is so disturbed and barren looking, I think it needs something.

“It’s nothing required. It’s just nice to have,” he added.


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