Nashville organizer apologizes for cherry tree uproar

Pedestrians make their way through a row of Cherry trees at Riverfront Park along First Ave. North in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, March 30, 2019. Nashville was planning to cut down 21 cherry trees to make space for an NFL draft stage, but later Saturday, Nashville Mayor David Briley said the city won't cut down the trees. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The leader of a Nashville organizing group for this month’s NFL draft has apologized about initial plans to cut 21 ornamental cherry trees to make room for the event, which caused an uproar before it was modified.

Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. CEO Butch Spyridon said cutting them down is “wrong,” and they “heard the public outcry loud and clear.”

The Tennessean reports Spyridon said current plans now call for 10 trees to be moved intact to make room. He says they’ll be moved “as safely as possible.” Critics have their doubts. Spyridon says the downtown cherry trees “have become a part of the cultural life of our city.”

Nashville’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival is set for April 13. The NFL draft takes place in Nashville April 25 to 27.

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