Seeds of solution to growing problem

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– One city is taking a unique approach to replace the thousands of trees it’s losing to disease.

Dayton has thousands of ash trees it’s expected to lose because of the Emerald Ash Borer on top of other tree varieties that could fall victim to diseases.

“Our urban canopy is getting decimated by the Emerald Ash Borer,” says Aaron Sorrell, Director of Planning and Community Development.

So officials are in the process of growing their own trees to replace those dying ones.

“We think this is a way we can reuse the vacant property we have,” Sorrell says.

Not only that but the city’s paying groups like the Southwest Priority Board to take care of the trees.

“Now I’m excited every time I go out to the farm and see the trees and watch how tall they are,” says Patricia Rickman with the Southwest Priority Board.

We asked city officials about the cost to taxpayers.

They say they have to pay to replace the trees regardless. This won’t cost anymore and keeps the money in the community.

“It saves the city from mowing because we are working with these other groups to maintain the properties,” Sorrell says. “More importantly I think it gives a funding stream to these small non-profits.”

Right now the city has three tree farms with about a 1,000 trees in all.

They plan to add another thousand this year.

“It reduces storm water runoff, it reduces the heat island effect, it cleans the air,” Sorrell says of the benefits of trees.

The city expects most of the current trees will be ready to be replanted in 2015.

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