Pest takes toll on Metcalf St.
Diseased ash trees stand no more
|What’s left of ash trees on Metcalf St. after infested with ash borer.|
October 31, 2007IMLAY CITY — Workers began the removal of some 200 diseased ash trees on Monday, leaving Metcalf Street looking strangely barren by mid-day.
One resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, described the suddenly treeless sight as resembling a "war zone."
Metcalf is the hardest-hit of the city's streets, with dozens of decade-old trees being taken down because of the ravages of emerald ash borer disease.
"We'd much rather be trimming them than taking them down," said a worker for Owens Tree Service. "But it's a necessary safety measure. Eventually they'd be falling down."
In addition to 208 city-owned ash trees slated for removal due to the disease, another 20 will be removed from private property.
City residents were offered the option of having their trees taken down by Owens at the same per-tree price the city received. Ten property owners responded favorably to the offer, said City Manager Amy Planck.
Planck said the residual wood is being cut into 6-foot lengths and will be left temporarily in the city's right-of-way.
"The wood is still safe to burn," Planck pointed out. "If the homeowners want the wood, they can have it. Otherwise, it will be stacked and available for others to pick up."
The diseased wood cannot be taken to areas outside the State's established quarantine zone, which includes all of southeastern Michigan and now extends into the U.P., said Planck.
She added that the city intends to initiate tree replacement along Metcalf Street as soon as possible.
"We'll be doing some replacement this fall," said Planck. "The plan was to begin replacement on Metcalf (Street) first. We'll be discussing tree replacement again at our next (city commission) meeting."
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