The Roundup -

Eighty-one Trees Within Sidney To Be Removed


Eighty-one dead and diseased trees were marked with orange X’s recently, an all-too familiar sight which causes concern for Sidney residents. Dutch Elm Disease continues to be the primary culprit, as Elms make up much of the tree population in the area, but Ash trees have been infected with aphids as well as the Lilac Ash Borer, and some are simply old or uncared for. Trees are more susceptible to disease if they become stressed caused by such things as drought, injury, or recent transplanting.

An ordinance will be sent to property owners stating they have thirty days to cut down marked trees, however there is some flexibility because City Officials understand that there is limited availability for tree-cutting services. It is essential that both the tree and the stump are removed to prevent the spread of disease.

“These trees are a liability especially when you consider recent storms,” said Compliance Officer Jeff Mead. “They are a safety issue and we want homeowners to be aware of the liability.

The City of Sidney is not immune to losing trees, either. There are at least fifteen trees in Sidney parks that will be taken down by the City Crew this fall when their work load slows and the ground is firmer and better able to support heavy equipment, preventing rutting.

A 2013 tree inventory within the city limits showed that there were approximately 2000 trees, only half of the trees that were inventoried during the late 1970s and in 2014, 111 of those left were marked.

Trees are an investment and an asset, increasing property value, shading lawns, homes, businesses, and parks and decreasing heating, cooling, and watering costs. While having to cut down a mature tree is not ideal, Stephanie Ridl, City Parks superintendent and certified arborist, hopes people will see it as an opportunity to re-plant a variety of trees, with no more than 10% of the tree canopy being one species. This diversification will prevent diseases such as Dutch Elm from devastating an entire tree population. The best time to plant is during the fall or early spring while the tree is still dormant, though trees can be planted at any time if they are adequately watered during the heat. For those with multiple trees to come down, Ridl suggests a phase-out removal process, prioritizing which trees are at high-risk for failure and removing those first. Ridl recommends planting new trees now so they are semi-established when a mature tree must be removed.

For more information or a list of trees that will thrive in this region, contact Tim Fine at the MSU Extension Office at 406-433-1206.


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