Diseased trees to be removed from Glen Oaks

Glen Oaks residents will receive a letter this week after Glenville Parks and Recreation Director James McFarland confirmed on Monday, March 23, that the trees affected by oak wilt disease will be removed.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has spent the past several months studying the area and has determined that trenching would be too costly and disruptive and has instead opted to cut and chip the sick trees and those surrounding them.

The DEC put a lot of time and thought into how to best deal with this rare situation. We want homeowners to know that the oak wilt has been contained and removal will prevent the risk of transmittal, said McFarland.

The letter to residents said the cost of installing the trenches and the risk of damage to property was too high, and to adequately prevent the spread of the disease, the DEC will have to cut and chip all red oaks within 150 feet of the seven infested trees. McFarland said that the risk of white oaks transmitting oak wilt is virtually nonexistent and therefore, the DEC will not cut any of those trees.

The DEC will hire a contractor to remove seven trees in the Glen Oaks development, which first showed signs of this tree fungus late last fall. The fungus is more commonly found in the mid-western part of the country, and it is still unknown how it showed up in Glenville.

McFarland said the DEC and the town agree that their efforts will be better spent alleviating the problem as opposed to determining the cause due to its rarity.

"It is unlikely that we will ever know how it ended up here, but this is a good reminder that we need to reinforce why it's not always safe for trees to be transplanted," said McFarland.

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