Beginning Monday, February 28th, a independent contractor hired by the City of Manitowoc will begin removing emerald ash borer infected trees at Lincoln Park. Work will begin in the area from North 8th Street to the tennis courts and will eventually progress towards the zoo. Visitors to the park should expect periodic road closures inside the park during the daytime, but park roadways will typically be open in the evenings. The parking lot by the fieldhouse may be closed at times to pile wood and debris. Efforts will be made to keep rental facilities accessible when in use. Tree removals by the contractor are expected to be completed by May 1st.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is having devastating effects on the City’s ash trees. Other local communities are experiencing the same issue. Once infected, the Emerald Ash Borer is nearly 100% fatal to untreated ash trees. The Forestry Division is doing their best to remove the infected trees before they become hazardous, especially in or near areas which are used by the public. Late fall to early spring is the best time to remove ash trees as the larvae are dormant during that time, and because there is less damage to the turf when tree removal vehicles drive over frozen ground.
The focus of the Forestry Division right now is removal of EAB infected trees. Small trees may die within one to two years of becoming infected, and large trees may die within three to five years. The Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in Manitowoc in 2017, so many infected ash trees are already nearing the end of their life cycle.
Once the Forestry Division begins to “catch up” on removals, it is the hope that resources will be able to be directed to planting new trees. There is currently $15,000 earmarked in the 2022 budget for tree purchases and planting on City property or right-of-ways, but the replacement process will take a number of years of planting to fill the void left behind by EAB. In the meantime, the City of Manitowoc does offer memorial tree packages if anyone is interested in purchasing a tree to be planted in a City park or in Evergreen Cemetery. Visit https://www.manitowoc.org/432/Memorial-Trees for more information.
Although the wood at Lincoln Park will be removed from the park by the contractor,
City of Manitowoc residents can purchase a one or two ton truckload of wood removed by the City of Manitowoc Forestry Division from other locations by calling (920) 686-3580. The wood is not split and may be the length of the truck bed. In general, loads may be a mixture of hard and soft wood and will be delivered when available. A one-ton truckload of wood is $65 plus tax and a two-ton load is $115 plus tax.
For more details, contact the Department of Infrastructure – Forestry Division between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday at (920) 686-3580. Additional information about urban forestry can be found by visiting www.manitowoc.org/forestry or by visiting www.manitowoc.org/notifyme and signing up to receive important information via text message or email. Download the City of Manitowoc app from the App Store or Google Play and click on the Alert Center to subscribe to emergency alerts.