Thirteen Lombardy poplars located in Jane Clark Park, and 11 in Titlow Park, will be replaced with a sturdier species as part of Metro Parks’ urban forestry management program. Removal is scheduled to begin on Dec. 6. Planting of the replacements in Jane Clark Park will take place this winter. Replacements will be planted at Titlow Park in conjunction with bond improvement work scheduled for 2011/2012. Poplar trees are known as a pioneer species. In nature, they colonize and grow rapidly where other trees don’t thrive. So much of their energy is directed to growth that very little is left for defenses. As a result, poplars commonly rot and break, and drop both live and dead branches. In recent years, storms have severely damaged and even knocked down some of the neighboring trees in both of these parks, which could have a destabilizing effect on the remaining poplars. Those remaining have all started developing dead branches. Since these are located next to arterial streets, crews are scheduled to proactively remove the trees to help prevent vehicular damage or injuries to park visitors. Metro Parks is sensitive to the beauty and environmental functions these trees provide and also recognizes that the alternative species selected will take longer to mature than poplars. However, the replacement of this variety in these locations with a sturdier species will not only provide a different beauty to the park today, but will also establish a lasting gift for the enjoyment of future generations.