Public comments made on the Saugerties Times website as well as phone calls and on-the-street encounters from folks asking that the village try “another approach” have convinced Building and Grounds Superintendent George Terpening to treat some village ash trees infested with emerald ash borer with an insecticide rather than cut them down.
“There was a backlash from people asking us to save the trees,” Terpening said. “They’ve changed my mind a bit.”
This damage to ash trees extends from Palenville to as far south as Marlboro/Ellenville and as far west as the Ashokan Reservoir. There are a number of infected trees throughout the village, including four at Seamon Park, Terpening said.
He’s met with Vern Rist, an area arborist, to talk about treatment options, which includes injecting the trees with an insecticide. Terpening believes the injections will prolong but likely not save the trees in the long run.
“It’s like chemotherapy,” he said.
Cost for the treatment is about $400 per tree and must be done several times over the course of several years.
Currently there is no money put aside in the Building, Parks and Grounds budget, but Terpening said there are some unspent funds in the budget that can be used this year. However, before anything can be done to the trees at Seamon Park, the park board must give him the go-ahead.
The trees infected at Seamon Park are about 60 years old, Terpening said. No time line has been given for when the trees will be treated, although Terpening said he would like to get it done as soon as possible.