FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - They're calling it an issue of public safety.
12,000 Ash trees will need to be removed over the next 10 years as Fort Wayne fights the Emerald Ash Borer, a small Asian beetle that feasts on Ash trees.
Mayor Tom Henry announced Thursday morning that $900,000 in additional funding would be needed to remove dead trees and stumps for safety reasons.
Of the four city quadrants, the northeast quadrant has the most ash trees with 4,627 or 38%. The southwest quadrant has 3,372 trees or 28% of the total. The southeast quadrant has 2,915 trees or 24% of the total, and the northwest quadrant has 1,186 trees or 10% of the total.
Tree trunks will be sold that the city is able to recoup some of the money. Branches, twigs and arms of the tree—where it splits from the trunk—will put through the grinder.
The Fort Wayne Parks Department also wants to replace the trees it removes with ones fit for the urban environment.
The city will replace the Ash trees with ones that provide shade to sidewalks and streets. They serve to keep the city cool and even help homeowners use less electricity. Parks and Recreation also say they will replace the Ash trees with ones that don’t interfere with power lines and can handle tough winter seasons like the one the city is currently experiencing.
Fort Wayne Superintendent of Parks Steve McDaniel says, “There's certain trees that are designed for urban environment and there's trees that aren't. We look for- in our zone here in Fort Wayne- we need to make sure that it's a stable tree, that it can survive well, grow and flourish and provide good shade because that's what our urban environment's supposed to do.”
The city plans to remove 3,000 trees this year and replace 1,200.
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