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Two banyan trees at Thomas Square park to be removed

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Two banyan trees at Thomas Square Park will be removed Wednesday because of a "severe infection," city officials said.

Arborists from the city’s Division of Urban Forestry determined that the trees needed to be removed because of a severe infection of the lobate lac scale — an insect that feeds on wood. The infected trees are the ones flanking the Beretania Street stairway entrance to the park.

Attempts to remediate the effects of the insect with pesticide and pruning have failed, said city spokesman Jay Parasco.

The removal will prevent large branch or full-tree failure in the heavily used park, he said.

The project is expected to be completed by May 23 and is not expected to impact traffic on the surrounding streets, he said.

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