City to remove dead trees

The biological war between the Emerald Ash Borer and ash trees is still being waged, but it’s very much in the favor of the invasive species. That’s been confirmed by the city’s new urban forester, Steve Gaines.

“The beetle larvae tunnel under the bark, and damage nutrient and water flow throughout the tree – basically girdling the tree,” Gaines said in email Friday afternoon. “Once infested, the trees usually die within 2-5 years after initial infection.”

This morning, Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Department began removing six dead ash trees at the intersection of McIntire Road and West Main Street. That will take place Monday through Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and motorists can expect delays. 

Gaines said it is hard to tell how many more ash trees across the city will die but there will be a focus on removing ones that can cause harm. 

“It is safe to say that the city will be removing Ash hazard trees for quite a while,” Gaines said. “Standing dead Ash trees are particularly dangerous because the dead limbs are brittle and can easily break and fall during wind/weather events.”

Gaines said the city is seeking to treat some ash trees with injections, but this often requires a landowner or organization to help cover the cost of treatment. 

Later in the week, crews will remove three dead Oak trees from Belmont Park. Gaines said there are many possibilities for why they have died. 

The Charlottesville Tree Commission meets virtually Tuesday at 5 p.m. (meeting info)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the May 2, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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