In June 2011, the City workers replaced some of our missing street trees that were lost to the Emerald Ash Borer years earlier. However, the tree they planted on my property was basically dead and never recovered. The next spring, I called the city and asked them to remove it. They didn’t, so I finally dug it out.
This month the city planted more trees as their budget allowed, but they didn’t replace the tree on my property. So I’m back on the phone … “where’s my tree”? I learned that they didn’t show my property as needing a tree. Since their budget was spent, I wouldn’t get another tree for 5-6 years! I directed the person on the phone to this blog, specifically to the series of articles that I’ve written on this subject. (see photo link in the right column) He said he would review and cover the issue with bosses.
Well guess what! Today I and other neighbors got new trees planted. Sometimes it pays to speak up, but realistically I appreciate the customer service person for carrying the issue forward to the decision-makers. Way to go Parks & Rec!
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Four years after it began, my street’s saga with the Emerald Ash Borer is coming to an end for some of us. Today the city began replacing our street trees (the area between the sidewalk & street) with new red oak trees.
There are still quite a few dead trees yet to be removed this year, but those of us who have already had trees cut down were getting the new trees today.
In case you’re wondering why the city is replacing these trees, it is in the neighborhood deed restrictions. Originally, the developer’s rules required the builders to install a tree or trees per X-ft of frontage when they built a home. Once the home sold, then “authority” over the street tree became the responsibility of the city to care (prune) the trees. If they died, the city was to replace the tree(s) so the neighborhood would always be tree-lined.
There is a variety of tree species used throughout the neighborhood, but on my street, all the street trees were ash. Any ash trees located within the homeowner’s lawn are the responsibility of the homeowner.
I’ve written quite a few articles about the Emerald Ash Borer’s attack on my street’s trees, along with photos I’ve taken of the damage. You can access all those articles by clicking here.
NOTE: Scotts Miracle-Gro® now has a systemic insecticide for the Emerald Ash Borer. You can read about it on their web site.
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!
Read more Ash tree articles
Well, it is obvious that the ash tree in front of my home has succumbed to the emerald ash borer.
This is what the tree looked like two years ago when I first started blogging about the borer’s damage.
This is what the tree looks like now. Only a few limbs have any sign of leaves.
The tree to the west of this tree has also succumbed. The tree to the east was already cut down in Jan 2008. Many others on this side of the street to the east are looking the same way. The trees further down the west side of the street seem as though they’ll start to weather the onslaught for another year. There seems to be different varieties of ash trees – male and female? – so I wonder if that is making a difference as to why some have been attacked earlier than others.
This is so sad!
Read all my ash borer articles.
The ash tree in front of my home has been declining rapidly. A few of the top limbs are now bare. The stress sprouts are re-growing. I had pruned them a couple weeks ago to remove them.
Today I checked for “D” holes to see if the female adult ash borer had left yet and I found quite a few such holes around the trunk.
Now based on what I’ve read, the larvae, from the female’s eggs, will begin to make their tunnels as they feed under the bark.
Read more posts about my ash tree saga.
Well, it’s not looking good for more ash trees on my street. There are about 4 more that are in severe decline. The tops are virtually bare with extensive sprouting along the trunk … indications that the ash borer larvae have stopped the flow of nutrients up the trunk.
Surprisingly, the trees on the opposite side of the street still appear OK, although they likely have been infected. Perhaps, their infection is not yet as major.
As I said in a prior update, the city installed systemic insecticide plugs this Spring to help curtail further larvae destruction until a better treatment can be found. The ash tree in front of my home had the trunk sprouts until I cut them off a couple weeks ago. So far the top of the tree still has leaves but they’re not as large or as full as in past years. Perhaps it’s been a benefit that there has been lots of rain, so at least the trees aren’t further stressed from lack of water.
Thank goodness the trees in our yards are now rather large so we won’t be “bare” when the city cuts down the street trees.
See these other ash borer posts for more information: