Nashville chopping down trees to make room for NFL draft

Some in Nashville are crying foul over a decision to cut down 21 cherry trees to make room for the NFL draft.

The Tennessean reports that the trees will be cut down on Monday morning, a decision that Nashville Tree Foundation Board President Noni Nielsen called “incredibly short-sighted,” for an event that will last only a few days.

Since the NFL started making the draft a traveling show, it has always included a significant outdoor component, and this year it includes clearing the trees for a big stage. The Nashville City Councilman whose district includes the downtown area that will host the draft says he remains a supporter of hosting the draft but wishes the planners had shown greater transparency in making clear that staging the draft as planned would require removing the trees.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. and the NFL have pledged to donate 100 cherry trees each to Nashville parks. But it could take decades for any newly planted trees to reach the size of the ones being chopped down.