Sylvania City Council has delayed accepting a grant of almost $35,000 to remove 111 ash trees in the city's right-of-way because of the threat of infestation by the emerald ash borer.
Council members this week asked if some study of removing ash trees from private property should first be considered as part of the ordinance.
Council president Barbara Sears suggested the city look into the possibility of helping homeowners who may have to remove the trees from their property.
Terms of the state grant require an equal financial match from the city.
Art Landseadel, city forester, had said the Asian pest has attacked ash trees throughout the area and by taking some of them down now, the city can use the grant funds to replace those trees now.
Bob Slack, superintendent of forestry, said most of the trees planned for removal from city property are "older declining trees,'' and would probably need to be removed in a few years even without the threat of the emerald ash borer.
Mr. Landseadel said the bug feeds on the outer wood of the tree and kills them within three years.There's no cure, he added, and it is inevitable that infested trees will die.
Numerous reports of infestations have been announced through the summer, with five new sites in northwest Ohio coming to light late last month.
Identification of the bug along Oatis Avenue near Toledo Hospital led officials of the Ohio Department of Agriculture to decide to remove about 4,500 ash trees growing within a half-mile of that site.
The department's protocol is for the removal of all ash trees within a half-mile of a siting.
Mr. Slack said it was prudent to go ahead with the program to remove the ash trees now, even though there have been no reports of the pest on any of the targeted trees in the city.
Symptoms of infestation usually do not appear until the second or third year, and by that time the trees can't be saved.
The superintendent said the economics of the situation should allow the city to plant two trees of each one it takes down.
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