Ballwin neighborhood unites to save trees from being cut down
By Matt Sczesny, Reporter
Trees tagged with green ribbons of support to keep trees (Credit: KMOV)
BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A West St. Louis County neighborhood put a halt to plans to cut down trees this spring.
Officials say the idea was a county effort to stop an invading and damaging insect.
According to officials, the county is concerned about the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer insect. But before the bugs could get to the trees, residents stepped in to save them.
One resident living along Palermo Drive in Ballwin said, "Most of us appreciate the shade and comfort we get from the trees because they've been here a long time."
The trees are tagged with green ribbons of support to keep them after residents found out the county wanted them to go.
Mark Harder, County Councilman said, “The county sent out a letter to all homeowners saying about 50 trees would be cut down and that's when our office started getting calls."
Harder says the idea was to prevent the Emerald Ash Borer from getting to the trees first. The invasion bug is now in Missouri, looking for Ash trees to bore into and ultimately kill.
Officials say the county was looking to do what the federal government did at the Arch grounds by cutting down all the Ash trees before the bugs reached them first.
But this particular neighborhood in Ballwin decided to fight for their trees. Now the county is rethinking its plan after tagging dozens of trees for removal.
"There is a problem with the infestations and I think the moral of the story is go slow and we need to look at these problems on a case-by-case basis and not look at it as a wholesale deforestation of these neighborhoods,” said Harder.
The homeowners association in Ballwin is looking at spraying the trees to protect them. The total cost is about $33 per tree per year. That cost would be paid for by homeowners.
The residents are protecting the trees with good reason. They say once these trees along the sidewalk go, the county is not allowing them to plant any trees in their place.
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