by J Heimlich, TD Sydnor, M Bumgardner, P O’Brien
Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 34(1):47-532008
Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a relatively recent exotic invasive pest (first described in the U.S. in 2002) and is now responsible for the death ofl hundreds of millions of ash trees in over half of U.S. states. In this study, residents of four streets in Toledo, OH, where many large, established ash trees were scheduled to be removed, were surveyed by mail to understand their attitudes toward street trees. The highest ranking reasons for liking trees on the streets included aesthetics, cooling effects, the canopy effect, and their large size. The presence of mature trees along the street was among the highest ranking reasons residents gave for liking the street on which they lived. When asked which characteristics they might value in replacement trees, residents ranked strong branches, mature size, the arching canopy effect, and fall color highly. The most important maintenance concern was damage to sidewalks from roots. Results suggest residents would accept a mix of species as replacement trees, which could reduce the threat of future pests. The species palette should emphasize large trees that will arch over the streets and that feature a variety of textures and colors in both summer and fall.