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City of Albany Department of General Services to Remove Ash Trees Infested with Emerald Ash Borer

March 01, 2019

ALBANY, NY – Today, the City of Albany Department of General Services announced they will be removing ash trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Beverwyck Park along Washington Avenue in the coming months.  EAB is an invasive insect introduced to the United States several decades ago and is now found in 35 states.  In Michigan, where it was first discovered in the United States, mortality rates for infested ash trees is 99% and has led to the loss of more than 60 million trees in that state alone.

Crews will begin removing trees on the northern edge of Beverwyck Park along Washington Avenue between Partridge and Ontario Streets in March.  The City is participating in a study of urban-tolerant oak trees started by the Urban Horticultural Institute (UHI) at Cornell University.  In April, UHI will distribute their “forest” of urban-tolerant oaks to cities across the State.  Albany’s share of these trees will be planted in Beverwyck Park to replace the ash trees that are removed.  In the years to come, researchers from the UHI will return to evaluate the health and vitality of these trees.  These oaks will not only replace the ash trees the City loses to EAB but will also provide information that will help researchers develop more urban-tolerant trees.

“We are sending a message to people who have ash trees on their streets that we are aware of the issue and we are working to restore our urban forest,” said Jay Lavigne, the City’s Forester. “This project shows that there is life after the Emerald Ash Borer.  It is not just about loss, but it is about restoring and improving what we have.”

First detected in Albany in 2013, EAB has spread throughout the City from Corning Preserve to the Pine Bush, and from Tivoli to the Normanskill.  The City is removing ash trees in and around Beverwyck Park with the support of an Urban and Community Forestry Grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.