Some of the trees planted on Main Street in downtown Union may not survive the summer.

Community Development Director Joseph Graves said there have been 12 Eastern red bud trees planted last month as part of the Main Street enhancement project.

“About half of them look dead,” he said. “I don’t know if they are or not.”

Graves said the trees were planted in 95-96 degree heat.

He added that the trees were purchased at Platt’s Nursery, and an employee suggested that the city wait until fall to see if the trees survive.

At that point, they may still be under warranty, Graves said.

“Until the fall, I don’t know what we can do,” he said.

Graves explained that in order to “close” the Main Street project, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) required the trees be in the ground.

So the trees were planted in late June, he said.

Mayor Mike Livengood said that many people have contacted him asking why the trees have not been planted.

He said the “gator bags” located at the base of the truck appear to hold the roots of the tree.

Graves noted that the trees are in the ground, but the “gator bag” is used to supply water. It is a slow-release method to more consistently supply water to the trees.

The trees also are often watered by Union Parks and Recreation Department staff, Graves added.

There also will be 10 trees planted this fall at the Oak and Locust streets, and Church and Locust streets intersections.

Main Street Project

The Main Street portion of the downtown streetscape enhancements are funded by $310,515 in federal funds. The city is required to provide a match of over $100,000. The total cost of the project is estimated at $411,433.

When traveling west on Main Street, there is a gateway, or “portal” that includes one monument on each side of the street. That portal separates the residentially zoned district from the B-1 downtown businesses district.

There also is a wall ton the south side of the road between McKinley Avenue and Linden Street to “screen out” a county parking lot. The wall is located across Main Street from the El Ranchito Mexican restaurant.

There are new sidewalks, with a foot-wide colored stamped stripe, on both sides of Main Street from McKinley Avenue to Washington Avenue.


Franklin County officials granted an easement for the city to include seating and planters along Main Street on the north side of the Historic Franklin County Courthouse.

There is seating and planters around a flagpole on the county property, as well as on the veterans memorial on the northwest corner of the courthouse square.

The additions on the county property match other new benches and planters installed between McKinley and Washington avenues to provide more consistency in the downtown area.

There are new bumpouts added at intersections where there were no bumpouts previously, and older bumpouts will be replaced.

There also are stamped concrete crosswalks along Main Street in the downtown district.