As many of you are aware, the Emerald Ash Borer has made itself known in the Kingston area.
Future concerns are now being focused on the Acer (Maple) genus. Similarly to what is happening with Ash trees has also happened with Ulmus (Elm) trees in the past. Jog your memory and think of the last time you saw an elm tree? Can’t remember? Dutch elm disease decimated our elm trees in the 1950s. There are very few left, so consider yourself lucky if you have a beautiful, mature elm to admire.
Professor John Ball of South Dakota State University states that we should be concerned with our Maple trees because both Ash and Elm are found on the major continents of the earth and insects have decimated them and have eventually spread from continent to continent. This could also potentially happen with Maples in the future.
What can we do? What’s our abatement strategy? As landscape designers and planners we can consciously plant with diversity in mind. Planting different genus instead of monoculture (same genus) will ensure this. Through Professor Ball’s research, he recommends planting no more than 5% of the same genus in our urban forests. The many benefits of diverse tree canopy cover will sustain our urban forest and allow it to thrive and not be threatened by insects or disease. To sum it all up, what does this mean for you and I and our future generations? Living in an urban forest means an increase in quality of life!