Decapitated Trees by Lyric Centre Now Cautiously Growing Their Leaves Back Out

Beheaded Trees at Lyric Center garage site, 440 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002
A weekend wanderer sends a few photos of the new sprouts now poking out of some recently beheaded trees alongside the Lyric Centre parking garage construction site on Smith St. It’s unclear exactly when the shortening occurred, though a shot taken of the site back in late October seems to show at least a few of the trees still tall enough to peek over the construction fencing:


Lyric Center garage site, 440 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

Some of the leafy comebacks have been less reserved than others:

Beheaded Trees at Lyric Center garage site, 440 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

Beheaded Trees at Lyric Center garage site, 440 Louisiana St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

Photos: Ross Norwood (photo of construction site from above), Swamplot inbox (all others)

Stumped Downtown

10 Comment

  • These trees will never grow back properly! It’s obvious no one who knows anything about trees was consulted. Who’s responsible for this?

  • Not decapitation: coppicing.

  • Calm down. The average life a street tree in a downtown setting is less than 10 years anyway. You should just consider them disposable/replaceable just like a Gillette razor or a Ziploc bag. Even if left alone, they would never grow to full mature height due to harsh conditions, confined roots and inadequate sunlight. They are only for decoration. I’m sure they will be replaced with new trees or planter boxes once construction is complete. Then 10 years from now, Swamplot will run another piece on the demise of the subsequent generation.

  • Oh no! A decapitated tree? What will we do? Oh wait look, its,its, NIMBYtron! “NIMBYtron no like sidewalks or buildings, NIMBYtron want Houston to become overrated like Austin, NIMBYtron want more rurban development!”

  • Superdave, actually street trees, while decorative, serve a very important practical function: shading the sidewalk for pedestrians. They also form a protective barrier for pedestrians from moving traffic if placed between the primary walk zone and the curb.

  • Super dumb. Live oaks do quite well under urban conditions and can be pruned almost mercilessly

  • Have any of you ever actually walked downtown? I do it every day. Most downtown trees are little lollipops with at most 20 square feet of shade. And that’s only when the sun hits them at the perfect angle at the perfect time to cast their little bit of shade at the right angle onto the sidewalk. During the rest of the day, the sidewalk is most likely shaded by awnings and the shadows of the giant highrises all around, or the geometry doesn’t line up. As for protection from cars…cars do not regularly jump the curb and maim people walking on the sidewalk. And even if they did, there are infinitely more poles, signs, bollards and things other than trees that the car would hit. And most of these trees are tiny and a car would go right through them anyway. Finally, there are no mature live oaks in these little strips of concrete between the sheer building walls and the street. There are some in areas with further setback, such as green strips, planting areas and parks, but those are further from the street and have more room. Most of the oaks planted in these conditions barely grow a few inches each year, turn chlorotic, get infested with powdery mildew, and frequently have die-back of main branches. Again I walk around/under these every day. They are not happy trees.

  • Welcome to Houston TreeLot, where we keep you updated every time a tree is cut down!

  • Superdave hit on the head! A new one will replace it so tree huggers calmdown!