Scaling Up Tree Protection Uses Most of City Budget

Scaling Up Tree Protection Uses Most of City Budget

In Powell, Ohio, scale insects have made a comfy home and show no signs of moving on.  A homely, wingless creature, they attach themselves to the honey locust and there, silently, do enough damage to eventually kill the tree.

This intruder is the scale insect, which begins to appear as tiny bumps all over the trunks of trees.

Powell officials are taking a pro-active approach and spending money up front, rather than deal with dead trees in five or ten years that need to be replaced.  The total yearly budget for tree replacement is $10,000 and pest control efforts to rid the honey locusts of bugs will cost $8,300.

Tree service companies inject chemicals into the soil to kill the scale insects.  Since the insects can’t fly, they must make contact with dirt as they climb their intended target.

If the tree is untreated and the pesky bugs infiltrate it, they form a protective coating that is nearly impossible to penetrate with normal pest-control methods. An untreated infestation will usually lead to a stunted tree, and often a dead one.