By Sally Smith
A recommendation to cut down three ash trees “in poor condition” and plant three new trees in downtown Perth each year over a nine year period was approved in Committee of the Whole in Perth on Jan. 17, but not before some discussion.
Mayor John Fenik said “if they’re going to die, let’s cut them down,” referring to all of the ash trees in the downtown core.
Grant Machan, director of environmental services, explained that Eco-Tree Care Inc (ETC). looked at the health of the trees this past summer and found evidence of Emerald Ash Borer. Their finding was that of the 27 ash trees downtown, three are in “poor” condition, 16 in “fair” condition and eight in “good” condition.
ETC recommended treating those trees in fair and good condition with TreeAzin, a bio-insecticide; this recommendation was not acceptable due to the cost of the chemicals. Removal cost of the trees in poor condition is estimated at $600 per tree; the replacement and installation cost for three trees is $500 per tree. The cost over nine years is $30,240.54 to be funded from the 2017 budget.
Machan, replying to Fenik’s statement, explained that cutting down all ash trees (including healthy ones) would be “in violation of [the Town’s] tree policy.”
Photo by Sally Smith: Grant Machan, director of environmental services, defends nine-year tree replacement plan.