Workers clear debris off the road as the Ash trees are taken down along Little League Boulevard

The canopy along Little League Boulevard is thinning, as Dincher & Dincher Tree Surgeons are busy taking the trees down this week in Williamsport. Traffic has been impacted along the two-lane road for lane closures as the work is being completed.

While some area residents expressed disappointment regarding the tree removal, taking the trees down is necessary because of disease, said Chad Eckert, City Forester/Arborist.

“A total of 55 trees had to be cut down along Little League Boulevard due to the Emerald Ash borer,” said Eckert. “The insect cuts the flow of nutrients and water off to the tree,” he noted, causing the trees to become diseased and die.

The Williamsport Shade Tree Commission, working in partnership with other community individuals who are certified through DCNRs Tree Revitalization Grant, will be replacing 38 trees along Little League Boulevard this fall. The grant qualifies individuals who apply to receive 25 free trees per year. More trees are expected to be planted next year.

Some of the large Ash trees lie within Phase 4 of UPMC Susquehanna’s “Pathway to Health,” a connecting link from I-180 to the Williamsport campus, which the city currently lacks. With the development of that new roadway will also come a landscaping plan, including new trees.

The caretakers of Williamsport's trees

The Williamsport Shade Tree Commission is an advisory commission established by the City of Williamsport to promote the improvement and preservation of a healthy environment as it relates to public trees. The committee provides guidance for the planting, maintenance, protection, and removal of trees along public streets, in city parks, and in other City of Williamsport-owned properties.

The City of Williamsport has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management. To qualify, the city has to have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance in place, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. This is the 20th year that Williamsport has received this award.