Dept. of Forestry offering cost-share to remove dead ash trees from public property

Dept. of Forestry offering cost-share to remove dead ash trees from public property
The Virginia Department of Forestry is offering financial aid to remove dead or dying ash trees from public property due to the introduction of the emerald ash borer, which has caused a decline of the trees. (Source: Ryan Sjoberg)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Forestry is offering financial aid to remove dead or dying ash trees from public property due to the introduction of the emerald ash borer, which has caused a decline of the trees.

Municipalities, local government agencies, non-profit entities on public lands, and/or tribal communities are eligible for funding through the 50 percent cost-share program. Private companies and landowners are not eligible.

“To qualify for this program, the tree(s) must have a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 17 inches or greater and exhibit greater than 30 percent canopy loss,” a release said.

All applications need a removal quote or bid attached from the International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist. Fifty percent of removal costs will be covered as a reimbursement of up to $6,150 per organization or $30 per diameter inch.

It will also include an incentive payment of $200 for the replacement of every tree that is removed under the agreement. To qualify, the ash trees must be replaced with a native species approved by the department’s specialist.

“It’s important to maintain the tree canopy on our public lands. Cost-share programs like this can support land managers who may need to remove trees but want to keep the overall canopy intact by replacing removed trees,” says Molly O’Liddy, VDOF’s Urban & Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator.

The ranking of applications will be based on community need and department staff will do a site visit to make sure the trees meet the requirements.

Enrollment is now open and closes Sept. 18. Awards will be announced the week of Sept. 21.

For more information on the Department of Forestry, click here.

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