Millcreek Township Completes a Tree Inventory
Millcreek Township, PA- Millcreek Township recently evaluated the status of the Township’s tree canopy by proactively conducting a tree inventory of its main parks. A tree inventory was completed in Millcreek Township with the assistance of local DCNR Service Forester, Tim Ackerman, and students from the PA Outdoor Corp. The 12-member crew from the PA Outdoor Corp (part of the Student Conservation Association) led by Bureau of Forestry personnel, collected data about the trees in the Township’s maintained park areas including: Tree Species, Diameter, General Condition, and the GPS location. The location of the trees inventoried as well as information about the trees is available to the public via the PA Tree Mapper web app at www.opentreemap.org/patreemap. There were 1,209 individual trees counted across 13 Township parks. A wide variety of tree species were inventoried, totaling about 70 different species. The top three genera were Maple, Ash, and Oak. Early results determined that 20% of the maintained park trees inventoried are Ash trees. With the known threat of Emerald Ash Borer in Erie County, the Township is now looking to take steps to systematically mitigate the risk of unstable and dying Ash trees within its parks, and urges residents to evaluate any Ash trees on their property to mitigate the risk that such trees pose to them and their property as well as to their neighbors, utility lines, etc. The Township’s risk mitigation process will include tree removal where necessary as public safety of those using the parks is a top priority of the Township. In areas where a hazard tree removal is required, the Township is committed to replanting a variety of native species over the next few years.
About Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native, invasive insect that attacks Ash trees. Emerald Ash Borers are destructive to Ash trees because the larva of the insect feeds on the inner bark through the fall and winter. The adult insect will lay its eggs on the exterior bark, when the eggs hatch the larva will bore in behind the outer bark into the phloem (inner bark), girdling the tree. In the spring, the bug will bore out and emerge as an adult. Once an Ash tree is infected by the insect, it will die in approximately 3-5 years. The Emerald Ash Borer is nearly 100% fatal to all Ash species. EAB was first found in Erie County in 2013. Once an Ash tree dies, it quickly deteriorates and will pose a risk of falling branches and even toppling.
Ash trees are found not only in Millcreek Township parks, but throughout Erie County and all of Pennsylvania. Ash trees can be identified by having compound leaves with their buds and branches oppositely arranged. A reputable field guide, or Erie County DCNR Service Forester Tim Ackerman, can be used to identify Ash trees in your area. One key sign that an Ash tree has been affected by Emerald Ash Borer is the evidence of wood-pecker damage on the tree, where much of the outer bark is chipped away.
To learn more about the tree inventory, please contact:
Jessica Stutzman, Recycling Coordinator Office: 814-833-1111 ext 317 Email Jessica
Ashley Marsteller, Director of Parks and Recreation Office: 814-835-4122 Email Ashley