Several dying ponderosas have been identified as potential hazard trees and will be removed. photo by Jim Cornelius
By Sue Stafford
City Forester Dan Galecki, of Spindrift Forestry Consulting, has completed his inventory of all 2,900 trees located in City right-of-ways in Sisters. A few of those trees are dying and will have to come down.
Each tree has been photographed, assigned a GPS location, and had its physical description and condition entered into an Excel file. The trees located in City parks will undergo the same scrutiny this summer. The trees in the downtown commercial zone were inventoried earlier. When all three inventories are completed, the maps will be merged into one map and added to the City's shape files.
Galecki reported to the Urban Forestry Board on May 14 that there are several ponderosa pines that need to be removed due to their poor physical condition, creating possible hazards to public safety.
A large ponderosa pine on the corner of W. Lundgren Mill Road and N. Pine Street had been observed to be declining during the winter of 2018, showing symptoms of discolored foliage. In April 2018 its condition had worsened with over 60 percent of the foliage affected. Pitch tubes were noticed and an infestation of pine beetles is suspected. The situation will not improve, as too much foliage has already turned orange. It must be removed.
The above summary is an example of the information recorded about every City tree. Some that are exhibiting signs of stress or disease will continue to be monitored. Others that are too compromised will be removed.
Two ponderosas on the FivePine campus have been identified, one to be monitored through the remainder of spring and summer 2018. The other one near Sisters Athletic Club appears more stressed, possibly due to compaction, and removal is recommended.
A forked ponderosa near the corner of North Pine Street and West Adams Avenue has top foliage loss and excessive exuding pitch, indicated beetle entry. With 30 percent of the crown dead, the hazardous tree will be removed, which will reduce the possibility of beetles entering surrounding trees.
Public Works Director Paul Bertagna reported that 24 trees were recently planted in town - 12 at the Creekside Campground, seven at Clemens Park, and five along Hood Avenue.
Seventy-five trees from the City's nursery were planted last week and they will be replaced in the nursery by young ponderosas to be grown and planted on the east edge of the City treatment plant. Older ponderosas in that area died when an open irrigation ditch was piped, reducing the amount of water to which the trees had become accustomed.
The City of Sisters has been designated as a Tree City USA for 10 years.