LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—At Myrick Park about 50 ash trees have been removed because of the emerald ash borer.
But on Friday the park received a new tree in honor of Arbor Day. Kindergartners joined the city arborist and the Hill and Valley Garden Club to plant a Northern Red Oak. Adding a tree to a local park is a more than two decade old Arbor Day Tradition.
"It's our future," said Wyatt Wolfe, an arborist for La Crosse. "I'm hoping the kids go home and want to plant a tree tomorrow with their family."
The emerald ash borer forced the city to cut down hundreds of ash trees around La Crosse, and while many of the trees weren't showing signs of the borer yet, removing them is a safety issue.
"Ash trees are a brittle tree to begin with," Wolfe said. "Now they're more brittle, more dangerous, more money. Right now we're able to get the byproducts out of it. We have a log buyer that's buying the logs from us. The wood chips are being sold to Xcel Energy. So we are getting a financial benefit out of the trees right now."
The city is going to vary the species of trees planted so there isn't another situation where if one type becomes infected, so many trees have to be cut down.
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