LAKELAND, Fla. – The city of Lakeland has decided to remove the large oak trees known as the “Lover’s Oak.”

The trees sit on the northeast corner of Success Avenue at Lake Morton Drive.

“It was important we were thoughtful in this process. We are in the business of planting trees, saving trees, not taking them down,” said Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director Bob Donahay. “We reached out to an outside expert to make sure that we were unbiased in our decision.”

Two certified Arborists and an outside consultant inspected the trees. The three people determined it was impossible to ensure public safety through any other action other than removal even though the trees are in okay health.

The “Lover’s Oak” has gained renown in the Tampa Bay area because it is notably two trees that have intertwined through the years. However, the inspection revealed that the trees are no longer connected and there is evidence of internal decay.

An investigation started after a large limb fell from the tree on July 21, striking a vehicle on Success Avenue.

The work will begin around the second week of September and should last about one week. A more detailed timeline will be available once crews are secured.

Go to the city of Lakeland’s website for more information.