The tall Douglas Fir trees at Pine Lake Park are beautiful but, unfortunately, they’re also vulnerable to what’s called “laminated root rot.” And when their roots weaken, the trees become dangerous to park visitors and nearby homes.
So, beginning the week of Oct. 10, 18 “significant” trees will be cut down. That’s 18 out of 225 that were assessed, all of them near the parking lot at the northern boundary of Pine Lake Park.
“In addition to protecting residents from falling trees, this will also slow down the spread of the disease,” Parks Director Angie Feser said. “We’ll be removing a primary source of the fungus that can travel through the soil.”
Douglas Fir trees are not native to Pine Lake Park. As the city replaces the diseased trees, it will plant conifer and deciduous varieties that are not vulnerable to laminated root rot.
“We’ll take similar steps throughout our city in the years ahead as part of our urban forestry management approach,” Feser said. “It’s always sad to see trees fail, but this is what we have to do to keep our tree canopy as healthy as possible.”
Some of the trees to be cut down may still look healthy to the casual observer, but an arborist has confirmed that all of them are “zombies,” trees that have no chance of surviving long term. The symptoms of the disease typically show up last in the upper sections of the tree.