Ash Tree Removal Project Completed

Ash Tree Removal Project Completed

Downes Tree Service has substantially completed the ash tree removal project which involved removal of hundreds of trees located on Club property which were subject to infestation and damage by the Emerald Ash Borer insect. The work began late in the late summer of 2021 but was put on hold after several months due to apparent discrepancies between the contract tree inventory and the trees being removed. The GPS coordinates used in the contract tree inventory were found to be less than ideal for locating individual trees. It also became evident that many trees had been marked for removal by others which were not located on Club property or otherwise not scheduled for removal.

Downes Tree Service cooperated fully with the Club, agreeing to pause the project in order to confirm the location of and mark all trees which were to be removed. This was a very time-consuming but necessary process. Additional trees identified for removal included some potentially hazardous trees of different species and others reported by Club members.

Because of prior contractual commitments by Downes Tree Service, there was a lengthy delay in restarting the tree removal process. The Emerald Ash Borer problem has created extremely high demand for mid and large-sized tree service firms and Downes is no exception. The company has been working non-stop for many months, almost exclusively on large ash tree removal projects for municipalities, public utility companies and private communities.

In recent weeks, Downes was able to restart tree removals in Highland Lakes and the project is now substantially complete. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that a few ash trees have been missed, but unless such trees pose an imminent hazard, they will not be removed at this time. We will periodically reevaluate the need for further tree work and include them as needed.

Finally, we have heard from several members expressing their thanks to the crews from Downes Tree Service for completing the project safely and without incident and for delivering literally tons of firewood logs and wood chips to those members who requested them.