Failing trees to be felled

Old cottonwoods threaten Northridge Park structures


Some of Highlands Ranch’s oldest trees will be taken down this week in Northridge Park.

According to Carrie Ward, director of parks, recreation and open space for the Highlands Ranch Metro District, eight large cottonwoods in the community’s oldest park are suffering from a sensation known as “root girdling,” where the tree’s roots begin to grow upward and choke the tree.

The trees, set for removal Dec. 5-7 weather-pending, are all beginning to lean over, creating multiple issues. 

Four of the trees are starting to lean into the playground area, and Ward said they are starting to push out the retaining wall that surrounds the playground. Additionally, there is concern that the trees could damage playground equipment, or potentially injure someone, if they came down in a storm.

The other four trees are located near the entrance to the park, off Mountain Cloud Circle, and two of those are starting to lean into adjacent fences and houses.

“We’ve been watching them for a while and our forestry staff really thinks it’s time to bring them down,” said Ward, adding that once the retaining wall is repaired, the cottonwoods will then be replaced by a smaller type of tree.


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