Trees dying but not being replaced, expert informs city leaders
PRINCETON — There are a number of dying trees within the Princeton community, and the city council is looking at ways to safely maintain them all.
The council was approached by local certified arborist Dennis Taylor of Taylor Turf & Trees during Monday’s regular meeting.
Taylor suggested the council establish a tree ordinance and an advisory committee that would keep a closer eye on the dying trees to ensure those that pose as a danger or risk of falling over could be removed as soon as possible.
A tree ordinance could be a useful tool that would help protect and manage the community’s trees. It could cover all issues related to trees, including tree planting, removal and maintenance on public and private properties.
Taylor said there are a number of dying trees on city property, including some near Lincoln and Jefferson elementary schools, which are even more of a concern because of children traveling nearby.
“We don’t want to see any of these trees fall down in a public area, even if (the tree) is on a private citizen’s lawn,” he said.
Taylor said Princeton also is losing its tree canopy “drastically.”
“We’re cutting a lot of trees down, but not planting any trees,” he said.
Taylor said a tree ordinance could be established easily, and there are also grants Princeton could apply for to help with the cost of removal. Taylor worked with the village of Granville last year to acquire a $15,000 match grant that helped remove more than 60 trees within the village.
“It’s already been paid off. It’s been a good program,” he said.
Council member Ray Mabry questioned the condition of some of the trees and asked Taylor what seemed to be the cause of them dying off.
Taylor said maple trees have suffered this year because of drought in prior years. He pointed out the small drought experienced last summer and early fall and even the drought of 2012.
“A tree can suffer from a drought five to eight years later,” he said. “It’s tough on them.”
Emerald ash borer has also done a lot of damage to many local trees. The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, which causes the trees to starve and eventually die.