Why are trees being cut down in the Central West End? - KMOV.com

Why are trees being cut down in the Central West End?

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Residents in the Central West End asked News 4 about what happened when a row of trees was cut down along Laclede Avenue just east of Euclid. (Credit: KMOV) Residents in the Central West End asked News 4 about what happened when a row of trees was cut down along Laclede Avenue just east of Euclid. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV,com) -- Residents in the Central West End asked News 4 about what happened when a row of trees was cut down along Laclede Avenue just east of Euclid. Others are marked for removal, and residents are wondering what the city is planning.

“I thought it was nice to have the shade,” said Patricia Love who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years. “The trees looked nice, much better to me with the trees,” she added.

It turns out this is part of the five-year plan to address the invasive insect the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The Commissioner of Forestry said at the end of the process 14,000 ash trees will be removed across St. Louis.

1,200 healthy ash trees are being treated to protect them from the EAB and the treatment has to be done every two years.

The commissioner added every tree taken down will be replaced with a different species of tree that is appropriate for the area.

Currently, the city is in year 2 of the five-year plan and about 3,000 trees have been removed to date.

So what’s the issue with the EAB? The commissioner said if a tree is attacked by the insect it can decline quickly. It can dry out and become brittle which becomes a danger to the community.

The commissioner said they are working to stay ahead of the problem.

The city’s website said, “experts agree that EAB will kill all untreated ash trees in its path”.

The website adds, the EAB “will kill ash trees in a city within 3-10 years depending on the size- the city's size”.

Some are sad to see the mature trees disappear.

“That size would take 50 years,” said resident Signe Lindquist.

They know it will take decades for the replacement trees to grow to a similar size.

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