Contractor fined $1,500 for killing courthouse trees –

Contractor fined $1,500 for killing courthouse trees
By Bruce Henderson
Published in: Business
A Rockingham contractor has been fined $1,500 for applying an herbicide that killed three large trees in front of Charlotte's historic federal courthouse.

The N.C. Pesticide Board approved the settlement with Flor B. Garcia of Garcia Forest Service on Tuesday.

The Observer reported the story last July: two massive willow oaks and a large magnolia dead of unnatural causes on the courthouse's leafy grounds.

The trees, at least 60 years old, stood to the right of the 1915-vintage courthouse's main entrance on West Trade Street. They've since been cut down and replaced with much smaller trees. It's not immediately clear who paid those costs.

The city owns the Charles R. Jonas Federal Building but the federal General Services Administration leases and maintains it.

Samuel Garcia of Garcia Forest Service told a state inspector that he applied an herbicide containing imazapyr on cracks in the sidewalk around the courthouse, the settlement says.

The herbicide's label cautions against applying it over the root systems of desirable plants. It's not supposed to be applied closer than twice the distance from the trunk to the drip line of trees and shrubs.

Flor Garcia, Samuel Garcia's wife, has a pesticide license for aquatic and forest work but not for ornamental and turf applications, the settlement says.

Contractor fined $1,500 for killing courthouse trees –