Field of Science

Ash Bored

Our street, our neighborhood, our yard is a bit more impoverished because a large (4' diam) white ash tree was taken down this week.  It's the city's tree, a boulevard tree, and two years ago they took down it's mate in size and species from the other corner of our lot.  For the last 50 or so years these trees have shaded our street, and they would have lasted considerably longer, but they fell prey to the emerald ash borer introduced to the USA right here in Lincolnland.  Even worse an up and comer boulevard tree planted some15 years ago, sort of mid-way between these two big ashes, which were about 120 feet apart (it's a big lot), was also a white ash, so rather than come back a year from now, this much smaller tree was removed as well.  It bothers your perception when such a big landmark is suddenly removed, and it comes as a shock to actually be able to tell if there is oncoming traffic before actually entering the street (not an altogether bad thing), and it's hard to locate the driveway when such a big landmark is removed.  Our city is being proactive and planting a lot of trees interspersing the young ones with all of the ash trees that have been or will be removed.  Over reliance on one species is always a dangerous thing whether your staple food or a street tree.  Two replacements appeared last year, a swamp white oak and a new elm cultivar, a replacement for the elms lost the last time we introduced a fatal disease that decimated a wide spread and common street tree, but they as yet do not make a presence.  This is the terrible thing about trees; you do not replace a large tree except with time, decades. Unfortunately, the utility wires, cable and such are on poles on our side of the street, so big trees right on the boulevard are a bit of a problem.  Although a big tree is going to be missed, a large tree isn't actually needed or wise in this general location, so a smaller, doesn't-get-in-the-wires tree is a better choice, perhaps a Chinese lilac, but only if the city nursery has one available.  Now our yard only has three trees with trunks in the 4 foot diameter category.  So think carefully about cutting down and planting trees; you choice now is one you have to live with for quite awhile.   

1 comment:

Jenn said...

So glad they are planting new to replace the fallen ...

I grew up during the decade we lost the elms. Devastating.

Detroit was also experiencing 'white flight' at that time, and the coffers were bare - no money for street trees.

It was a very sad time.