Problems in Urban Forest

Some Northumberland residents are feeling the effect of recent wet weather in finding large tree limbs down. Mike Skratt of Cobourg's Skratt Tree Service says that wet weather has caused rapid tree growth this year. With the weight of rain on leaves and branches it is expected that some limbs will break. Fortunately, Skratt says, we have not experienced high winds or tree damage could be more extensive.

There is a more imposing threat to our urban forest, Skratt warns. The emerald ash borer has now been found in Northumberland. Once infested, 99% of ash trees will die within 6 years. It was only a matter of time before the borer was discovered here. It has made its presence known in Ontario counties of Frontenac, Simcoe, Peterborough and Algoma including Manitoulin Island.

Removing infected trees is a costly endeavour for any municipality but one that is necessary to ensure that an influx of invasive plants do not take advantage of the dying ash trees. Much of Skratt's time is now occupied with removal of infected ash trees. "We were busy before, but this has added to the work" says Skratt, adding, "It is a good time to be a tree guy."