The La Crosse Community Foundation, Coulee Partners for Sustainability, Inc., Livable Neighborhoods and a gathering coalition of partners announce the Trees for the Coulee Region Campaign for 2015.
The Campaign will raise funds to treat as many ash trees for emerald ash borer and to plant as many new trees as possible. 100% of the funds raised will be used for treatment of ash trees and planting new trees.
Glen Jenkins, Chairperson of Coulee Partners for Sustainability said “We have a grant of $5,000 from the La Crosse Community Foundation to treat ash trees and that is a great start, but it will take a community wide effort to have a real impact on saving as many ash trees as possible”.
Donors via the La Crosse Community Foundation to date now include:
Marck Family Fund $5,000 to treat trees throughout the city
Barb and Dave Erickson Fund $2,000 to treat trees throughout the city
Gillette Family Fund $1,000 to treat trees on Losey Blvd. if possible
Fowler-Hammer Fund $2,000 to treat trees on Losey Blvd. if possible
Trees are important, even in an urban setting. Trees improve scenic beauty, increase property values, reduce air pollution, keep us cool in the summer heat, and help with storm water retention.
The cost to treat ash trees properly for emerald ash borer with the injection method by a certified arborist is about $10 per diameter inch per year. It is the most effective treatment available, especially now that the infestation is virtually 100% in our area.
The City of La Crosse alone has some 2,500 ash trees along the boulevards and sadly the infestation has already damaged many beyond the ability to be treated and saved. Ash trees are about 12% of the total urban forest in the city, so their loss will be huge.
The ash trees that have not been treated are being removed now because it is safer and more cost effective to do so. Unfortunately, once the bug heavily damages an ash tree, it becomes a falling hazard more and there is no value in the logs. The City is doing what it can with limited resources to replace them, but the void in many areas is already noticeable.
“We also want to plant as many new trees as possible where we’ve lost trees for whatever reason” said Charley Weeth, President of Livable Neighborhoods. “We especially want to do what we can in those neighborhoods where the need is greatest and are looking to partner with neighborhood associations and other groups to help with this campaign”.
Jenkins added “We have a limited window of opportunity to treat ash trees and plant new trees this spring, so it is essential that we do what we can as a community now. We will use 100% of the funds raised to treat and plant as many trees in as many communities in the Coulee Region as possible.”
In the City of La Crosse:
- Ash trees with a yellow ring painted around the base are those that have been treated or will be treated this spring. They will be monitored and hopefully most will survive for many years to come.
- Ash trees with a red X in a circle and/or with a red ribbon will be removed. Stumps will be ground down later so new trees can be planted as soon as funds are available and at the right time of year. Most new trees are planted in the spring, while some can be planted in the fall.
- Ash trees without any markings will be marked after the deadlines for treatment in those work zones
Property owners in the City of La Crosse are also encouraged to contract with a certified forester to treat the ash trees on the boulevards adjacent to their as well as on their properties, and to plant new trees too. Treatment must be established by specific deadlines based on the location.
A free permit is required to plant a new tree in the boulevard and it must be one of the approved species. The Parks, Recreation & Forestry Dept. will plant a new high quality, northern grow tree in the boulevard for $125. Call . 608-789-7309
Property owners in the City of Onalaska can also treat their ash trees and plant new trees. Call 608-781-9590
Residents in the villages and towns may also contact their respective local governments for more information.
Neighborhood associations and other groups interested in the coalition are encouraged to contact us for more information.
Contributions should be sent to:
Coulee Partners for Sustainability, Inc.
2642 Hackberry Ln
La Crosse, WI 54601
A PayPal link is on the website www.cpslax.org.
* Coulee Partners for Sustainability, Inc. is a Wisconsin not for profit corporation with IRS 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by the tax code.