MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

Avalon neighborhood showing numerous dead ash trees. Close-up of what the bug does to the tree. You can see the zigzag pattern where it exits after infecting the tree. It’s estimated that possibly as many as 90% of the ash trees in Avalon are dead.Removal of the City’s dead ash trees begins this month in Waynedale neighborhoods. By the end of the year, nearly 3,000 ash trees infected by the Emerald Ash Borer will be removed if they are dead, have severe dieback, or pose a high risk to the safety of the public, the property, or the street. Those identified trees will be marked with a white dot at the base of the tree.

Homeowners will be notified if their tree will be removed this year and they will also receive a second notification the month their tree is scheduled for removal. The removal of dead trees on City property will begin in Southwest Fort Wayne, in the Avalon neighborhood first; then crews will move to the Lake Shores and Winterset neighborhoods.

There will be two separate crews—a tree removal crew and a stump grinding crew. Stumps will not be ground the same day the tree is cut down. The crew that removes the stump will also place topsoil and grass seed in the bare area.
After completing the Southwest side, removal crews will move on to the Southeast, followed by the Northeast and finishing in the Northwest side of our city.

A replacement plan will see shade trees planted in several areas where the dead trees are being removed but the City doesn’t have the funds to replace all trees. Residents can purchase a tree replacement for the park strip for $150 through the Parks & Recreation Department. Those who do will have their trees replaced more quickly – possibly as early as the end of next spring.

The City is not able to conduct inspections of private property trees. If you have ash trees on your private property, please monitor your trees and properly remove them if they become infested. It’s a good idea to have an arborist inspect your trees; determine if a chemical treatment is practical or if removal is recommended.

The affects of the Ash Borer – a small beetle that hit Michigan first, then arrived in Allen County in 2006 – became more apparent this spring. As other trees began to blossom with leaves, some of  the affected ash trees looked haggard.

Adult borers are dark metallic green, one-half inch long and one-eighth of an inch wide and circulate through our community from mid-May to September.

Their larvae spend the rest of the year developing beneath the bark of ash trees, destroying the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark, and literally sucking the life out of the trees. In most cases, the tree will die within three to five years of first being infested.

For more information on the ash tree removal process, call 311.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column.

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Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer