Dead and dying ash trees in Glenwood Park are being removed.
It’s a cooperative effort between the city of Erie and the foundation for sustainable forests.
The main culprit causing the death of the ash trees is a little invasive green beetle known as the ‘Emerald Ash Borer Beetle’.
According to the Emerald Ash Borer Network, the beetle is responsible for killing millions of tress each year in the United States. The beetle will lay eggs inside of the tree’s bark. Once the eggs hatch, the beetles feed on the tree, disrupting the tree’s nutrition, causing it to die.
With chainsaws filled and workers ready, the Foundation for Sustainable Forests and the city are ready to remove dead and dying trees in Glenwood Park.
Executive Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests Annie Socci tells us, “For example, there is white ash in these woods that are dying. A bug called the Emerald Ash Boring Beetle; it is an invasive species that is killing off our ash trees, unfortunately.”
Socci says dying trees pose a danger to park visitors.
This effort is also to improve the health of the surrounding forest by removing the infected trees.
“We want to improve the ecology equality, health, and resilience of these forests all over Northwestern and Western PA.”
Socci says some of the trees infected are estimated to be over 130 years old.
“It’s not very healthy; it had some rot pockets, staining, and separation of the rings.”
After deciding which trees needed to go, crews used chainsaws to cut them down.
Now, instead of using a tractor to remove the trees from the forest, Belgian Horses were used for the removal. That is when one of two teams of Belgians will go in and take away the downed trees.
Retired Service Forester Tom Erdman says this is not something that is done all the time. “But, It should be done periodically, depending on the site and species of trees permanently.”
Today, the team removed around 50 trees. They will be heading back out tomorrow to do the same.