Get off my Ash … Update #8 … the final blow!

When I arrived home last Friday, the dreaded Delaware City Parks & Rec guys were in front of my home. I knew it was just a matter of time until the “grim reapers” would arrive as I had received notice that my tree was to be cut down. But still, I hated for the time to come.

For two years I’ve known that the Ash street tree in front of my home had a terminal infection, and even though I technically don’t own the tree (the city does), I still had a fondness for the beauty it provided to my street. In just two short years that dastardly Emerald Ash Borer destroyed my tree as well as others on the street and in the neighborhood.

The city workers began by trimming the dead limbs from my neighbor’s tree, but they left it standing as it still has about 3/4ths of its limbs with leaves on them. My tree no longer had any green leaves … only the death throe sprouts at the trunk. After the workers finished cutting down my tree, they cut down the tree in front of the neighbor’s home across the street. There are many other infected trees in the neighborhood that will be cut down at some point in the future as most are infected in varying levels.

In addition to the city workers, a city arborist stopped by. I was able to ask him about the split trunk on the large maple in my front yard. In the photos you can see the red leaves, which aren’t supposed to be that color until fall. He said the splitting was due to the winter we had when sub-zero temps (-14°) froze the cells then the temps quickly went to above freezing causing the cells to expand. He said in essence, the tree out grew its bark. He said thousands of trees in the city had that occur. What it means is that I’ll lose this tree as well, although it may last for another 2-3 years before it needs to be cut down also. The maple tree belongs to me … so that expense will be mine to bear. I have a Kwansan cherry in the back yard with the same split-bark problem.

I’ll go from having two very nice trees back to two saplings

like I had when I bought the home.

In the notice I received from the city, they said they don’t have the funds to replace our street trees until perhaps late 2010, if even then. The arborist wasn’t as positive. He said they have over 1,000 trees on their list to replace this fall but they have funds to replace only 21. That’s quite a shortfall and just another victim of our queasy economy.

Don’t suppose replacing trees would qualify for some of that elusive stimulus money, would it!

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