Granville Tree and Landscape Commission
Meeting of August 14, 2012
Members present: Don Hostetter, Lynne Kishler, Dick Mortensen, Don Pheneger
Guests: Regis Birckbichler, Terry Hopkins, Jeremy King, Michelle Lerner, Jim Siegel, Steve Stilwell, Darren Willey
Don Hostetter reread a letter we received in June from Robert and Christine Gravitt requesting removal of a Norway Spruce located on their property on the corner of South Pearl and East Elm Streets. A letter was sent informing them of the ordinances and replacement requirement. Eighteen letters were sent to neighbors within a hundred feet advising them of the request and offering the opportunity to speak on the matter. Three letters were received – one property owner for the removal, one against removal, and one neutral. The mature tree has a diameter breast height (dbh) of twenty-three inches, thereby requiring replacement with eleven two-inch trees. The Gravitts have had a landscaping plan drawn up replacing the spruce with two dogwoods, one redbud, and boxwoods. Mr. Gravitt presented their intention to enhance their property with attractive new landscaping and their desire for more lawn area.
Neighbor Benita Warren of 216 S. Pearl spoke in favor of removing the tree. She expressed her concern for potential damage that could occur to the house if the tree would fall or lose limbs. Neighbor Connie Barsky of 221 East Elm spoke in favor of denying the removal request citing the age, health, and value of the tree to the neighborhood, especially since the village lost many trees in a late June storm. Don Hostetter read the list of reasons outlined in the ordinances for removing a tree within the village right-of-way; only the fact that the sidewalk is slightly raised due to roots is applicable in this situation.
There being no other citizen comments, Dick Mortensen made a motion we close discussion and Don Pheneger seconded it. Don Hostetter called for the vote. Three voted in favor of denying the request to remove the tree; one voted in favor of removal. Therefore, our recommendation to the village manager will be to deny the request. Village manager Steve Stilwell will send them a letter with his decision.
The minutes of the June meeting were distributed and approved.
Opera House Park - After hearing Jon Bennett’s presentation about StaLok as a pathway material for Opera House Park, members of the T & L Commission visited a driveway with StaLok and decided to continue with the original plan of extending the existing walking path with brick.
Also in June, Linda Reynolds took commission members on a tour of the arboretum at the Cherry Valley Lodge where we considered shrub varieties for planting at Opera House Park. Linda has provided us with a list of plants she feels would do well in the park and provide color and interest along with requiring little maintenance. We are working towards a specific list which can be put out for bid on the project.
Fall trees 2011 - While the initial survey done in the spring found the fall trees doing well, the dry summer and high temperatures were hard on them. Some have now died and will have to be replaced.
Tree Removals – One dead tree in front of CVS was removed and the others continue to decline. It is felt the tree suffered from heavy salt use on the sidewalk, as melting snow, ice, and salt drained into the tree pits. Jim suggested we ask Linda Reynolds and Frits Rizor about safer products used for ice removal. Lynne feels we should notify store owners about the potential harm to trees in front of their businesses from the heavy use of salt. Michelle suggested a soil test be done in front of CVS as the property was formerly a gas station.
Don Pheneger discovered a dead sapling at the intermediate school along the driveway (one planted recently for Arbor Day). The root ball showed the roots still tightly compacted, even after possibly two years. Ways of dealing with the heavy clay conditions and poor soil at the school are necessary, as well as watering over the summer. For the most part, trees planted at the school have struggled.
Darren reported that his crews have not seen further Emerald Ash Borer evidence while trimming and cleaning up from the June storm.
Michelle described EAB traps she saw during a trip to Vermont. She shared a news article with us. The traps lure the EAB with a scent of ash leaves and ash bark. So far, no EAB have been found in Vermont, but the state is very proactive in tracking. Michelle received an inquiry from Richard and Callie Smith of Bryn Du Drive concerning possible EAB infestation.
Jeremy advised the Denison Tree and Landscape Advisory Board’s next meeting will be Sept. 4th at 10 am. We will have a commission member attend. Denison lost fifty trees in the June storm, most of the damage was between Ebaugh Pond and fraternity row. Some of the downed trees had been surveyed and photographed and insurance may cover them. Luckily, almost everything fell away from the campus buildings, and the specimen trees were spared. They will be expanding their arboretum by five trees.
Don announced the good news - Our Pin Oak in the Old Colony Burying Ground has tied for first place in the Ohio Big Trees program (under the ODNR) with another tree in Olmsted Falls in Cuyahoga County. Don has arranged for an article in The Sentinel.
The next meeting will be September 11th at 7:00 pm.