Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Protecting The Gateway Trees

Headwaters seeks ash tree vaccines

In an effort to preserve some of the city’s signature trees from emerald ash borers, Headwaters Park officials are seeking financial assistance.

Geoff Paddock, executive director of the park, Monday said he is seeking $5,000 to vaccinate the 90 ash trees prominently displayed in the park, including the 62 autumn purple ash trees that line Clinton Street.

“This is a beautiful tree canopy that provides color, shade and symmetry to Headwaters Park,” he said. “They provide a stunning welcome to the downtown area, and they must be preserved.”

Paddock said the annual vaccination against the borers provides the best-known defense. Replacing the trees would cost about $50,000 and take years for them to give the cover provided by the existing older trees, which were planted in the mid-1990s.

People interested in helping protect the trees should call Paddock at 425-5745.

Protecting ash trees from pests
Park Alliance has started to ask community groups for help.
Paddock, executive director of the Headwaters Park Alliance, said Monday that the Autumn Purple ash variety planted at Headwaters more than a dozen years ago have become a beautiful, identifying characteristic of the park and of downtown Fort Wayne. The $5,000 would be spent to inoculate the trees against the ash borer, an invasive pest that has appeared in Allen, Adams, Huntington, DeKalb, Steuben and LaGrange counties in northeast Indiana. The insect has been found only in Cedar Creek Township in Allen County, but it has spread quickly since being identified in Michigan five years ago. Paddock will take his search for funding to community groups immediately, rather than waiting for the tree-killing pest to move closer to downtown Fort Wayne. He said the trees are uniquely valuable to the park.

“There are 90 ash trees in Headwaters Park, more ash trees than any other kind of tree in Headwaters Park.”