Forester looks at Fayette trees 6.17.09

Written by David Green.

Fayette is a little heavy on the maples, said Ohio DNR urban forester Stephanie Miller, although a complete survey of the village would likely show more variation.

Miller was in Fayette twice recently to check on the village’s ash trees and to make recommendations on trees considered a hazard.

“The inventory was specific to ash and hazard trees,” Miller said.

Four trees were listed for cutting.

“The top priority in the village is to get the current tree population in safe condition,” she said. “Once that is underway, then we can begin talking about replanting and the other trees.”

Miller said the village shows little diversity and most of the hazard trees are the remnant silver maples planted 75 to 100 years ago.

“A complete inventory would reflect more diversity,” Miller said, “but Fayette is certainly maple heavy.”

Both age and species diversity are critical in protecting a community’s urban forest, Miller said.

“Problems, such as insects, disease, and weather-related issues are usually specific to a plant species or family,” Miller said. “If communities plant less than 10 percent of a tree species and 20 percent of a tree family, then the chances of catastrophic failure due to insect or disease infestations is greatly reduced.”

In the past, Dutch elm disease wiped out boulevard trees in some communities and currently the emerald ash borer is causing a problem. A disease related to maples could be catastrophic to most communities in this part of the country where maple is the dominant tree.

Many trees are of similar age, Miller said, and that can pose a different problem. Creating different age classes will avoid a situation where the majority of the trees reach old age and die at about the same time.

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