Some ash trees to come down
The city of Fairfield will begin removing ash trees from the right-of-way or terrace (the space between the sidewalk and street).
Emerald ash borers, an insect that kills ash trees by eating a ring around the tree in such a way as to prevent nutrients from flowing from the roots to the canopy, were discovered in Fairfield last year. City officials believe the ash borer will kill all the ash trees in town in a matter of years.
Removal of the infested city-owned ash trees is expected to cost the city more than $100,000 just for the trees in the right-of-way, excluding city parks. Alliant Energy has agreed to remove any city-owned trees that interfere with the company’s power lines. Alliant Energy tree crews are scheduled to begin work next week.
According to Michael Halley, Fairfield city councilor and member of the city’s arbor committee, only city-owned trees designated by the city’s public works director will be removed. The city will replace trees as funding becomes available. If property owners wish to replant in the right-of-way, they must obtain a permit from city hall. The city has a list of approved tree species from which to choose.
Property owners are advised to dial Iowa One Call to locate underground utility lines so they don’t hit them while they’re digging. The number for Iowa One Call is 800-292-8989, or 811.