GRAVETTE, Ark. (KFTA) — A growing problem at Bethel Cemetery, as trees on the property, are damaging headstones. Now, dozens of trees on the land will have to be removed.
Benton County Preservation Group President Nancy Feroe said getting rid of the trees is the only way to maintain the cemetery and protect the headstones.
“They [the trees] look beautiful in the spring especially when they have the white flowers but that’s only for a short while,” said Feroe.
There is a row of trees that were planted more than two decades ago. Bringing life to a burial place that was established more than 200 years ago, but the trees are also bringing a growing problem.
“As they’re getting older because they’ve been there for over 25 years their limbs are falling off, breaking off and hitting headstones. Some have actually damaged some stones. They cost problems for the Bethel Cemetery Association to have to take care of,” said Feroe.
Just last month, the association removed a large pine tree. Feroe said it was near a historic arch on the property. “With so much weight with the pines, it wouldn’t take much of a storm to push that over and not only destroy the arch but probably a lot of stones with it.”
The preservation group assesses cemeteries around Benton county to make sure they stay in good shape. They’re also working with the association to replace the entire cemetery. Making a map of the burial location, the physical burial locations of each individual who is buried in the cemetery and where that graves are located.
Tree removal could cost about $8,000.
“They look great, I’m a tree lover too but sometimes there are better places for them,” said Feroe.
The preservation group and the association are hoping to work with a landscaper to transfer the trees to a better location.