Resident touts ash tree treatments
Lindy Michael is hitting the streets this week, letting neighbors know how to save their ash trees from destruction.
Michael, a German Village resident, said she is knocking on doors and using electronic media to spread the word on treatment options for street trees threatened by the emerald ash borer.
She said she has identified professionals who can provide the work at a discount rate. Residents, in turn, must seek a permit from Columbus because trees in the right of way are city property.
If they seek the treatments, residents must make a lifelong commitment to the tree and understand that the approved treatment process, done on a biennial basis, might not be successful, said Joe Sulak, city forester for Columbus.
Time is of the essence right now, he said. The best time for treatment begins when the leaves start to emerge and lasts until the ash borer becomes active, which, because of the warm weather this year, is from mid-April to the end of May, he said.
“You definitely want to get a good assessment of the canopy before you do any kind of treatment,” Sulak said.
The city discourages property owners from treating trees less than 8 inches tall because it isn’t cost-effective, he said. The city will replace within one year any tree it removes.
Michael previously said treatments for younger trees could be as low as $35 for applications done every two years, compared to $300 or more for mature trees.
However, she is now reluctant to give a price range because it could vary significantly based on many factors, such as size of the tree, its overall health and whether the ash borer has infected it.
She said she identified nearly 300 ash trees while conducting a visual inventory of an area bounded by East Livingston Avenue, Bruck Street, East Gates Street and High Street. She found clusters of ashes on City Park and Thurman avenues, but the majority of the trees were in Schumacher Place and Merion Village.
Michael said people living outside the boundaries she surveyed are welcome to participate in the treatment options.
She said her latest treatment drive stems from a longstanding effort in Schiller Park, in which enthusiasts spent $5,000 treating 29 trees.