City to Cut Down Trees to Combat Ash Borer

One of the things that I enjoy about Old Brooklyn is my tree-lined street. The Ash Trees provide shade, keep temperatures down a couple degrees, and give the street some character.

In late July, the household received a letter (viewable here on flickr) that the City of Cleveland will be removing the tree (I assume that this includes the other Ash trees on my street) in front of my house because it is susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer. I want to keep the trees, but I am resigned on this decision because it was recommended state of Ohio and US department of Agriculture.

My sister, who lives next door, didn’t take so nicely, feels this is completely unjustified because no exterior damage to the trees on our street has appeared and the city was spending money on cutting down trees instead of funding education, the Cleveland free clinic (not THE Cleveland clinic), and other municipal services. She also fears the street will look less nicer and crime will go up. She also prompted a good question – how much will this cost, and who is footing the bill ?

My grandpa, an retiree from Nelson’s (tree-cutting service) prompted whether soap and water would be enough to combat it.

After all of these questions and observations, I haven’t seen any work on this project start or any other mention. There’s still more questions to be answered. I’ll try to start by calling the city’s Urban Forestry Service (yes, cleveland has one) this week. I wonder how many trees in the city will be cut down, and if the work is concentrated in a specific neighborhood or area. What will trees will be replanted in place of the Ash Borer (Heavens to Betsy if crabapple trees, originally cut down and replaced by the Ash Trees in the late 1970s on my street, return). How have other cities in the midwest responded to the Ash Borer ?

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  • Nate Royalty  On September 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    An annual treatment of Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub, applied to the soil at the base of the tree, will cost the homeowner about $20 a year (for a 10″ diameter ash tree). The product has been proven effective in numerous trials by university researchers in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, and is found in most garden stores, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. It takes about three minutes to apply the treatment.

    The city of Cleveland could buy Merit, a professional-use product with the same insecticide, for $5-10 per 10″ diameter tree, depending on how much they buy and from whom. So if Cleveland has 20,000 ash trees averaging 10″ in diameter, they could treat every ash tree in the city for as little as $100,000.

    In contrast, it costs a minimum of $1000 to remove a tree. Ergo, it will cost Cleveland $20,000,000 to cut down 20,000 ash trees. And the city will look mighty ugly with no street trees.

    This is not a difficult decision for the city of Cleveland to make.

    Nate Royalty
    Product Development Manager
    Bayer Environmental Science

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