Mark Dillenbeck, Tree Warden

Charlotte’s Big Tree Roster
Many Charlotters have contacted us with candidate trees for our update of the Big Tree Roster. Vince Crockenberg, Deputy Tree Warden Sue Smith, Meg Berlin and I have been having fun visiting neighbors, stomping around in the woods, and measuring large trees. Vince, who has been coordinating the update on behalf of the Tree Tribe, has been gathering information and photographs for the new list, which will appear in a special section of The Charlotte News website later this week. Meg Berlin of the Conservation Commission continues to work in tandem on a project collecting beautiful photographs of venerable town trees for a calendar she is producing. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Rutter Tree Fund to support the planting and maintenance of roadside trees. Thanks, Meg!

Firewood suppliers list updated
With the help of Front Porch Forum users I have updated the list of people who supply firewood to Charlotte. This list is posted on the bulletin board in the Town Hall and is available online in the Tree Warden section of the town website. Please contact me if you want to propose additions or changes to the list. Remember, a state quarantine is in effect that prohibits bringing untreated firewood into Vermont. This is to hinder the spread of dangerous pests—in particular, the emerald ash borer. Buy local!

Arborist list updated
I have also posted an updated list of arborists active in Charlotte. This too is available in the Tree Warden section of the town website. We are fortunate in having several excellent arborists working in our town.

Tree watering
A wonderful crew of volunteers has been keeping recently planted roadside, park and other town trees alive and healthy by watering them when needed. Sue Smith and Jenny Cole have been lugging water to a remote elm planting site in the park. Abby Foulk has been tending to trees at the Charlotte Central School. Greg Smith has been dutifully watering the new trees at the beach. In addition, Bill de Vos of Tree Works has been watering roadside trees at well below commercial rates.

Emerald ash borer preparedness plan
This is a heartbreaking thing to report, but five of the six species of ash (Fraxinus spp.) occurring in the United States and all ash species in Vermont are now classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on its Red List as being critically endangered. This is the last category of threat before extinction. While many ornamental ash trees will be kept alive with once every two year injections of insecticide, the affected ash species are expected to become functionally extinct in the near future—probably within the lifetimes of most people reading this article—due to the rapid spread of the invasive emerald ash borer.

To prepare for this eventuality, we are assembling a small group to develop a preparedness plan. At this point the group is composed of myself, Selectboard member Matt Krasnow and former UVM professor Dale Bergdahl. We will be working closely with Road Commissioner Jr Lewis. Basically there are two elements to planning. One is to prepare for the removal of large numbers of dead ash trees that will threaten our roads or public areas. The other is to make provision for ongoing treatment of select ash trees that we want to preserve. We welcome input and ideas.