Tree troubles

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:24 PM

“A lot of the trees we’ve taken down are due to bugs,” said Shawn Arvey of Fruitport-based RV Tree LLC. “Each bug has their own individual taste.”

Arvey said there are hundreds of bugs and problems that can impact trees. These range from the emerald ash borer to oak wilt disease.

“There’s so many trees with bugs in them," he said. "And, if you detect it too late, it can end up on a house. I’d say it’s more prevalent than it was before.”

Arvey noted that one of the signs of an infestation is discoloration in the tree and holes in the wood.

To manage the problem, his crews remove the trees and have a special area they put the diseased and infested wood in to contain it.

Arvey said his company has gone throughout the Tri-Cities area to deal with unhealthy trees.

Grand Haven officials are also trying make sure city trees stay healthy. City Facilities Manager Dan Vivian said they will be removing dead, diseased or infested trees.

“We’re going to be removing over 100 trees this year,” he said. “We don’t take trees down unless we have to, and we try to plant wherever we can. We have to keep the canopy going.”

The city will replant nearly 200 trees this fall to offset the elimination of the removed trees. Three years ago, City Council requested that the city plant 1,000 new trees over the next several years.

“After this year, we’ve got 400 to go,” Vivian said. “We’ve tried to diversify all of our street trees.”

This, he said, is in an effort to avoid having too many of one type of tree  — a problem if one species succumbed to a bug or disease.

“We haven’t planted a maple tree for a few years because we’ve had 60 percent maples in town,” Vivian said. “We usually choose five different species every planting cycle.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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