Breaking News
More () »

A tree for a tree: Gulfport tries to recover, but it's unclear how many trees have been cut down

The "Fallen Tree City Memorial" commemorates the thousands of trees that were cut down via permit across 13 Pinellas County cities.

GULFPORT, Fla. — This time of year, families across the country are cutting down trees for Christmas.

In and around Gulfport, though, hundreds are planting trees. It’s all thanks to an art memorial and initiative to plant trees to replace the ones that were cut down in Pinellas County this year.

The "Fallen Tree City Memorial" is set up at Clymer Park in Gulfport. 

Crea Egan is the creator of the memorial and says as an artist, "I decided to take a stand for the trees." She got the idea after witnessing the removal of a live oak that was growing into an old, abandoned garage.

Credit: Madison Alworth

In the exhibit, there are 3,763 white posts, each one representing a tree that had fallen or been cut down in 2019 across the 13 "tree cities," including:

  • Bellair
  • Clearwater
  • Dunedin
  • Gulfport
  • Largo
  • Oldsmar
  • Pinellas Park
  • Safety Harbor
  • Seminole
  • South Pasadena
  • St. Pete Beach
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tarpon Springs

But that number might be too small. The posts only represent the trees that were permitted to be cut down in 2019. Halfway through the year, the law changed. Now, residents are no longer required to get a permit to cut down trees on their property.

Credit: Madison Alworth

"During our research, we were checking all the permits that were issued by our 13 tree cities," Egan said. "It kind of threw our whole project off because there are so many trees that were cut down without permits. 

"That this number, 3,763 isn’t really an accurate number anymore. Because we had two more months left of our research. So this is just the beginning. This is what we were able to see."

However, Egan is focusing more on the future than the past. She wants to replace every tree that was cut down by planting new trees. 

“For us here in Gulfport, we had 167 trees," said Egan. "We decided we wanted to give away that many trees and track them for success.”

In total, Egan and her team collected 500 trees to donate to anyone in Pinellas County who had the space and will to care for them.

There are still some trees that are available to be adopted. They can be picked up from the Artful Earthscapes studio in Gulfport.

What other people are reading right now:


Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter

Before You Leave, Check This Out