When you buy a house in Irondequoit, I always argue that you are getting more than just a property. A new homeowner in town reaps the benefits of an extensive network of sidewalks, good schools and the most beautiful tree canopy in suburban Monroe County.
When Irondequoit was being built out a half-century ago, the construction of new neighborhoods also triggered the planting of thousands of trees in the public right-of-way. As a result, a walk or drive down an Irondequoit street is far different than one would experience in a newer, more sprawling suburb. The benefits aren’t just aesthetic in nature. A robust network of trees can help with ground water runoff. They can reduce energy costs. Trees are even proven to improve mental health.
A high percentage of the trees in the public right-of-way are either ash or silver maple. While these species help provide shade and a beautiful streetscape, they also are creating challenges in the present day.
Last spring, it was announced that the Emerald Ash Borer has finally made its way into Irondequoit. This invasive species first came to New York’s Southern Tier several years ago and gradually migrated north, swiftly destroying tens of thousands of ash trees in its path. The town will take preventative action and remove ash trees in our right-of-ways.
Silver maples line the streets of nearly every neighborhood in Irondequoit. While beautiful and mighty, they have a shorter life cycle than most trees species, which causes them to break sooner than most trees. Furthermore, they also have a very shallow root system that doesn’t seem to live in harmony with our sidewalks.
The town has become more aggressive in removing these dying trees, not because we want to, but rather because they represent a public safety concern. If a tree limb is more prone to break, we have a responsibility to either cut the limb down or take the tree down all together if we determine it is beyond its life cycle. Sadly, this action is what we will undertake with hundreds of ash and silver maples over the next few years.
The news isn’t all bad. The town has secured a federal grant to assist us with maintaining and enhancing our robust tree canopy. Over the past year, we have made investments to our highway fleet to make us more efficient in putting new trees into the ground upon request. We also have a general practice that if we take a tree down, we will put one up in its place if the immediate property owner wants us to do so.
If you want a nice enhancement to your front yard, I encourage you to ask us for a tree. This can be done by filling out a tree request form on the town’s website Irondequoit.org, or by calling 585-336-6090.