CHICO, Calif. - The entrance to the Silver Dollar Fairground in Chico looks a lot different this week after crews on Friday removed 11 trees that had lined the driveway for more than 20 years.
According to fairground manager, Scott Stoller, the Modesto ash trees had become infested by beetles and were rather quickly falling apart.
"Every year we have major limbs falling," he said. "Last May, during the fire camp that we had here, we had a little storm that came through and we lost a tree and three large limbs. And at that point it came very apparent to me that we needed to do something for safety reasons."
Stoller also said it appears that other Modesto ash trees planted at the same time have fallen and been removed throughout the years.
More that stand inside the fairground gates will likely meet the same fate.
The trees that were removed have since been replace by 15 maple saplings that will take time to grow but should eventually provide more shade.
And the project has inspired other tree planting ideas to beautify the fairgrounds. Stoller said aside from the safer conditions, that's one good thing that came from having to remove so many iconic trees.