Dozens of trees may need to come down in Buffalo park

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Dozens of trees may need to come down in a popular Buffalo park because of the emerald ash borer.

City officials told News 4 the insect has been eating away at the trees and now they’re concerned some trees may be unstable.

“The park is just going to lose so much and it’s a powerfully sad thing,” said Arthur Buckner, who regularly goes to the park.

A canopy of branches currently hangs over Shoshone Park in the University District. Buckner has walked his dog twice a day along the tree lined path for nearly 20 years.

“It’s so pretty to see in the fall and then the summer,” said Buckner. “I’ve noticed over the years, slow degradation of some the trees and I’ve often wondered why.”

The City of Buffalo told News 4 the emerald ash borer is attacking the cluster of 60 ash trees in the park.

“We’ve been monitoring them but we did see some signs of ash decline in the park last year,” said Andy Rabb, the deputy commissioner of parks and recreation. “We’re expecting to see further signs of that, which may cause us to come in and remove some trees.”

Rabb said the timeline will depend on inspections planned for this spring. If they find they need to remove trees, he said, they will schedule it during weekday mornings to avoid busy times at the park.

He told News 4 there are roughly 1,000 ash trees city wide and some of these trees may have been sick for years.

“I talked to them about other remedies of these trees, if there is some way we can fix them, give them some kind of medicine and they said no,” said Rasheed Wyatt, the Common Council member for the University District. “My biggest fear is tree limbs coming down on children and families that are here in the park.”

Wyatt has scheduled a public meeting to give people the opportunity to ask questions. It will be held Monday, April 11 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Charter Middle School for Applied Technology.

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