Valuing Our Urban Forests
This week's post is by Beth Hoar, Chair of PEIISC and Parkland Conservationist for the City of Charlottetown.
There are many reasons to value our urban forests. They provide economic, social and environmental benefits such as filtering pollutants from our air and water, preventing soil erosion and reducing storm water runoff, reducing the energy consumption in our homes by providing shade and buffering winds, providing us with a natural playground and habitat for urban wildlife… and much more!
Protecting this valuable green infrastructure can be challenging. There are many invasive pests that can show up in municipalities, one of which is Dutch elm disease (DED).
The City of Charlottetown has just finished the second year of its Dutch Elm Disease Management Program. The City monitors for and removes elms that are infected with DED on both public and private property. This year 96 elms were identified as having Dutch elm disease. These trees were removed, the stumps ground and the wood disposed of properly.
Some of the wood went to woodworkers to make local artwork and wood products. Anyone receiving elm wood signed a strict Memorandum of Understanding on how to store the wood to prevent further spread.
About 45% of Charlottetown’s elm population is still healthy and there are some magnificent elms remaining that any municipality would be envious of!
Check out the other urban forestry work the City is doing plus more information on DED at the following link: