ST. CHARLES – More than half of the remaining ash trees in city-owned rights of way in St. Charles will be removed this fall based on their conditions, said Chris Adesso, the city’s public services manager.
Adesso gave the city’s Government Services Committee on Monday an update on the 326 remaining and standing ash trees. The trees earlier this year in the spring were ranked into four categories ranging from mostly dead trees to trees that showed no signs of the emerald ash borer.
The spring inventory results showed 47 trees were 90 to 100 percent dead, and 134 trees were 50 to 90 percent dead.
“We would like to move forward with the removal of the 181 trees,” Adesso said.
Of the 181 trees that will be removed this fall, 99 of them are located in the northeastern part of the city, Adesso said. The trees will be removed by Skyline Tree Services, who is currently under contract with the city. Skyline’s three-year contract was approved in 2012 and project costs are budgeted, including the most recent cost of $64,000.
The city also has an existing contract for ash tree replacement, Adesso said.
Fifth Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis asked about the survival rate of replacement trees that were planted. Adesso gave an mortality rate estimate of five percent for the trees.
Second Ward Alderman Art Lemke asked how often a resident should fill the tree watering bags. Adesso said the bags should be filled whenever they are empty because they are designed for slow release watering as needed.