In response to the threat of Ash Borer beetles, the city has cut down several Ash trees in Old Brooklyn in 2010. About 10 of these trees have been cut down on Mayview, where I reside.
Last year, I blogged my resignation to the city’s removal of ash trees on my planting strip (the space between the sidewalk and curb). Because our tree was the only one cut down at the time, I didn’t realize its impact on the street. However, after reading an article by Michael Gill in a December issue of the Cleveland Scene and seeing more trees cut down on my street [even in the snow], I’m having second thoughts about the city of Cleveland’s plan to cut down the remaining Ash Trees.
Why keep the trees ?
Aesthetics. They also provide shade and cool down the front of houses and while walking through the neighborhood [although I’m not sure if that can be calculated].
Unfortunately, the city, planting the Ash trees (on Mayview, they were planted in the late 1970s), didn’t follow a rule of biodiversity, to plant different types of trees to prevent a bug or disease from affecting all of the trees. Any new tree replacement should include different trees and I’ll see if that’s being done for Mayview and Cleveland. A 2009 study by a group of Entomologists from OSU and a couple other midwest universities stated that there are several insecticides that are effective.
More questions to be answered: do the insecticide treatments have any negative environmental effects ? Has Chicago’s or Milwaukee’s alternative strategies to cutting been effective and can they be replicated in Cleveland ?
After reading a bit more on it, I would like to find out more if our trees can be saved [though I’m still figuring out how high of a priority it is for me to take more action] and whether the insecticide treatments have any negative environmental effects. I don’t know how much it will cost to keep them. It’s something that I’ll talk to my neighbors about and think about.
PS – While writing this, I found http://www.emeraldashborer.info to be a great source of information of Ash Borer beetles and communities’ responses.