This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Landscaping work has started on the east side of Lakewood Village, where buffer trees were cut down in 2018, but neighbors say the shopping center’s primary owner is not following the approved landscaping plan.

Madison Partners planted vitex trees along Hillside Drive to Winton Street, where cedar elms had been cut down without a permit. The removal of the mature trees upset nearby neighbors who said the foliage blocked the view of the shopping center and created a noise buffer.

Boxwoods and hawthorns were planted in flowerbeds next to the center’s screening wall. The hawthorns died in the February freeze, and the boxwoods are not native to Texas. Neither are the vitex trees.

“They’re doing some nice work, but they loaded it up with the wrong species,” neighbor Michael Seay said. “It’s supposed to be a Texas-native plan. The idea was to provide variety so there will be different things going on — springtime flowering or a change of color in the fall.”

The boxwoods will be removed, as well as some of the vitex trees that were planted too close to the sidewalk. The intersection of Hillside and Winton will be a focal point with canopy trees and ornamental shrubs.

The plants will be watered with a hose until a sprinkler system can be installed this fall.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Seay said. “Madison Partners met with me, and we’re going to rework it to more closely follow the plan. There will be more plantings and revisions to what’s already here.”