Township cuts down dangerous trees

By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

A variety of trees were recently cut down from Carl Frye Park as a result of increasing issues with emerald ash borer and other dieses plaguing trees in the Prairie Township.

“We took down an estimated eight trees during the first week of June,” said Dave McAninch, road superintendent for Prairie Township. “We also had to cut dead branches from some other trees.”

The township discovered the dead or dying trees during routine maintenance at the park.

“If a storm came these trees could be hazardous to anyone at the park,” McAninch said. “We did not want to risk having something fall on someone, so we thought it was better to just eliminate the issue.”

According to McAninch, the dead trees were a result of the emerald ash borer disease that has been plaguing Ohio for years and the recent harsh winter.

“All the ash trees that were infected were removed, however if we could save a tree, we tried,” he said. “If 20 percent foliage is gone from the tree then it is not worth trying to save.”

Last summer the township treated the ash trees at Alton Cemetery and had significant success. The township plans to continue the treatments every two years to avoid losing the trees.

“There are two ways to treat trees, you can give the tree injections in the soil or directly into the tree,” McAninch said. “We have a lot of ash trees at Alton Cemetery, so we wanted to do everything we could to save them.”

At Carl Frye Park there is more of a variety of different trees. McAninch said the township plans to plant new trees at the park to replace what they had to cut down.

“We will not be planting anymore ash trees,” he said. “Our plan is to plant the new trees in the fall, however it will take decades for them to grow back to where they were.”

The issue with dying trees is not new to central Ohio. Just last week, Franklin County residents may have noticed small planes flying low to the ground. These planes were dropping tiny green pellets to fight against gypsy moths.

Gypsy moths have been wreaking havoc on trees in central Ohio. They can lay up to 1,000 eggs, these eggs then turn into gypsy moth caterpillars and can seriously injure or kill vibrant trees.

The pellets contained a pheromone that female moths give off during mating. By releasing this pheromone it confuses the male moths and reduces mating.

“We never want to cut down a tree, but sometimes we have no choice,” McAninch said. “We need to make sure these trees are secure and our residents are safe, so sometimes we have to cut them down for the protection of our residents.”

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