Weather threatens famous Baldwin City trees

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BALDWIN CITY, Kan. -- It appears Baldwin City, Kan., can't catch a break with the weather. There have been three dry summers back-to-back, which is now threatening the iconic trees the town has become known for.

It's so bad, there are now concerns the dead trees will have on the environment and the annual Maple Leaf festival.

Dr. Roger Boyd, the city's tree board president and a biology professor at Baker University, said he knows of about 150 dead trees around the city this year. Some are right on the college campus.

"On the Baker Campus we have 450 trees. There's over 50 that we're cutting down this year," said Boyd. "Normally, we have only about 8 to 10 trees that we have to cut down each year, so over 50 is very telling of what this drought has done."

Several variety of trees are dying around Baldwin City, but the type that's dying off the most is the kind the city is known for. You see maple leaves on just about everything you look at in Baldwin City.

Some of those things are right outside of Sharon Vesecky's quilt shop.

She's on the planning committee for they city's annual Maple Leaf festival. Vesecky says it has drawn as many as 40-thousand people to this city of 4,500.

"A lot of people enjoy traveling to Baldwin City and seeing all the trees in full color," she said.

Vesecky says the festival will go on as planned, even if the city's beloved maples, and other trees keep dying.

Depending on size, it could cost anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars for homeowners to have these dead trees removed before the fall.

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