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EAB ASH REPLACEMENT PROGRAMS

Many cities are losing large portions or their urban forest very quickly to Emerald Ash Borer.

What sort of programs and practices are people doing to help communities recover and replace the ash that have been lost? Also, how are you ensuring the trees going in are helping increase tree diversity in your community?

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  • In Blue Ash, OH where I live the ash trees are being devastated. Most folks are unable to afford the expense to treat the Blue Ash, or ash trees of any kind. While there is no formal program for replacement of ash trees around the Cincinnati area people are hoping some ash trees may survive. Those could then be used as stock to grow for the future.
  • Though we do not yet have EAB in Vermont it is all around us. Seven years ago when we started our Charlotte Roadside Tree Restoration Program (now at 535 trees planted), we used 12 green ash only one spring. Then being alerted, none have been planted since. Based on soils and aesthetics, we use only species native to Vermont: sugar and red maples, swamp white and bur oaks, disease resistant elms, river birch, sycamore, hackberry and basswood. Anticipating warmer climate we have also used a few species that just creep into the southern part of the State,-black gum and tuliptree.

    Larry Hamilton, Tree Warden

  • In Chicagoland, one of the things most municipalities are doing is mandating that parkway trees have no more than 7% of any one species. Of course, this should have been done over 10 years ago when they were planting all the cheap Ash trees. Some towns have 30% Ash trees as their parkway trees. DIVERSIFICATION is key!

    They are also trying to plant more native trees and recommend those to the homeowners.

    We currently have the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative. This is spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum and is meant to include Chicago and the 7 surrounding counties. I was recently added to this effort and will share as much as I can as things develop. It seems like a daunting task but I am hopeful that some good will come out of it.

  • The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC)and CO State Forest Service (CSFS) have been working hard on many aspects related to EAB management. Efforts have directly been addressing diversity in many ways that may, or may not pertain to other parts of the country:

    - Most importantly, several folks in Colorado have been proactive for years (prior to local discovery of EAB) to promote diversity in "Recommended Planting" lists pushed out by the CSFS. 

    - Last spring, not long after the discovery of EAB in Boulder, a Tree Diversity Workshop was organized and presented to the public regarding diverse tree species that have been used successfully in arid location.

    - Members of our group have been working with local municipalities and consultants to understand the best ways to message diversity and work with these groups to get the word out.

    - Most recently, we've begun work on a "Tree Diversity" poster/ 12 month calendar that feature more tree species (not cultivars) including links to information through QR Codes.

    - Finally, I'd add that I think what has made much of this possible is the fact that we have the CTC which is comprised of diverse stakeholders including state officials, local managers, tree care firms, and residents. The diversity on the group makes it easier to draw from a wide pool of resources and know how certain messages are likely to be received.

    RT 

  • Milwaukee staff have educated politicians to the point where the mandate to mix it up (no more than 2 of the same species in a row, etc.) is accepted by planners.  A high-functioning UF dept. they have, in early on the planning process, regs seem strong and fair.

  • ISA's August edition of Arborist News has a very good article on Urban forest diversity, which I will upload to this post.  Bottom line is to focus on your communities "historical over-dependence on one or a few species as the prime cause of vulnerability.

  • ISA's August edition of Arborist News has a very good article on Urban forest diversity, which I will upload to this post.  Bottom line is to focus on your communities "historical over-dependence on one or a few species as the prime cause of vulnerability.

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