Downtown will plant several types of trees this spring to replace those cut down
A variety of trees will be added to Main Street after city officials removed 18 trees because of emerald ash borer infection.
Eleven ash trees and 7 honey locust trees were removed and Downtown Development Director Michelle Sponseller said a joint effort will take place to decide the type of trees to replace those removed from downtown Mount Pleasant last month.
Sponseller said a variety of trees will be planted instead of one type to avoid repeating the ash tree situation where all the trees became diseased and required removal.
“We had two solid blocks full of ash trees, which we realized is not a good idea and we will not be planting all the same trees this time,” Sponseller said.
Chris Bundy, director of parks and public spaces, said the seven trees removed from their planters worked into the Michigan Street project construction.
Those trees will also be replaced, he said.
“We’re adding 12 trees to replace them,” Bundy said. “It was part of the overall plan for the project.”
The downtown development board will work with Bundy and the street department over the next few months to study which trees to plant this spring.
“It’s always the plan to replace the trees, especially on the busy streets downtown,” Sponseller said. “It creates a more walkable, friendly town when trees line the streets.”
Bundy said although the missing trees in downtown Mount Pleasant are most noticeable, tree removal and replacement is also a common practice in Mount Pleasant’s local parks.
The emerald ash borer is a problem nationwide, but Michigan was hit as one of the worst areas, Bundy said.
“We have a lot of ash trees in the city parks, specifically Island Park, and over time people will start to notice when those are removed, too,” he said. “What we try to manage is the trees that are close to a trail where people walk because we don’t want a branch to fall and hit someone.”
Bundy said trees are removed in the summer or fall and replanted in the spring.
“We can’t replant right away, so we can’t remove all at once or else we will see huge open spaces,” Bundy said. “We do removal in a particular way so it doesn’t look so bare.”
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