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Tree Commissioner Says Trees Are Resilient

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 240

The City of Galesburg may be taking quite a hit with the loss of hundreds of ash trees due to infestation by the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle, but a local tree expert says the state of trees in town is strong.

City of Galesburg Tree Commission chairperson Lyle Johnson is talking about how trees are doing despite the EAB problem and despite the harsh winter weather that, one would think, would have given plenty of trees a beating.

But Johnson tells WGIL he thinks most non-ash trees actually benefited from the winter.

“We still won’t know, but I really think droughts are harder on trees than winter is,” Johnson said.  “A lot of people don’t realize how much a drought does, because the tree doesn’t die immediately.  A lot of times, it will be two of three years after we’ve had a drought.  Then, they see the tree decline, and when you say it was because of the drought, they just can’t believe that.”

Johnson says while the moisture from all the snow likely helped the tree population, there isn’t much that can hurt them in the winter, since trees simply go dormant.

Johnson helped the city today plant a birch tree in Lincoln Park near the gazebo yesterday to mark the city’s observance of Arbor Day.