Story by Lourice Angie
Before the start of the Warwick Town Board meeting on Thurs., Dec. 27, Sophia Rodbell, an urban forester with the Davy’s Resource Group, who also works with the Warwick Shade Tree Commission, presented the Town Board with the results of an extensive tree inventory which included recommendations for a long term management plan.
Earlier in the year, the Town of Warwick Tree Commission announced that a representative of the Davey Resource Group would conduct a tree inventory of the Town’s six parks and twelve cul-de-sacs. Funding for the tree inventory and management plan came from a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Urban Forestry Grant that the Town received in 2017. This inventory provided essential information on the number, location, health, and types of trees or hazards found on public property and in the Town’s rights-of-way.
The inventory will be the basis for a community forest plan that will help guide the Town, its tree commission and volunteers with the proper management of the community forest over a seven-year period. Rodbell announced that the inventory results included a total of 1,581 sites in the specified areas comprised of 1,440 trees, 42 stumps and 99 vacant sites. The report indicates that there are 76 species representing 37 different genre and 44 percent were considered established.
Rodbell said that in order to fix the skewed ratio, the Shade Tree Commission should encourage the Town to plant younger trees. The top five (most common) tree genre found in the Town of Warwick were maples at 38 percent, cherry at 11 percent, juniper at nine percent, ash at six percent, and honey locust at four percent. Of this number, 23 percent of the trees were considered good to excellent and only 18 percent were listed as poor or dead. The inventory also identified the age class of the trees. Thirty three percent were classified as young and in need of maintenance as they mature.
Suggested Management Plan
Shade Tree Commissioners encouraged the Town to plant younger trees to help keep the ratio even and to use the Davy Tree Keepers software. This will help the Town easily identify tree locations in case of an emergency. If a homeowner or anyone were to call the Town Police, Department of Public Works (DPW) or a contractor about a hazardous tree condition, this software will help provide an accurate tree location by using the homes address.
The next step suggested was to suspend the planting of maple trees and to limit the planting of cherry trees. By prioritizing, managing and establishing the mature tree population through curing, pruning and maintaining younger trees, the Town will be able to avoid costly repair in the future. The Town was also encouraged to conduct an annual survey and look for hazardous trees that could impact the right of way. Finally the Board was asked to repeat a tree inventory study in seven years.
Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton asked Rodbell about the Town’s ash numbers. The ash population was found at six percent and is within the top five genre in Town. There were some signs of the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle that infests and kills North American ash trees, but nothing in dire need of attention at this time.
Supervisor Sweeton and the Town Board commended all the work done by the Shade Tree Commission. Commissioner Karen Emmerich said that the inventory was really valuable. The Shade Tree Commission will work on an outlined seven-year plan and once that is completed, they can follow through with the management plan.
Warwick Valley Humane Society
Councilman Floyd DeAngelo announced that the Warwick Valley Humane Society (WVHS) currently has 18 dogs, 76 cats, 34 kittens, nine rabbits, two parakeets, one guinea pig, and five roosters available for adoption.
The shelter’s annual fundraiser was a gingerbread auction held at the Landmark Inn which raised over $1,000 for shelter pets. A special thanks goes to Michael and Rachel DeMartino at the Landmark Inn for creating and donating the festive gingerbread houses. The WVHS would also like to extend their gratitude to the Town and Village community boards, Police Departments, DPW’s and to all the residents for all of their generosity and support.
Ice Skating in Pine Island Park
Councilman Russell Kowal announced that the skating rink is up and assembled at the Pine Island Park, located at the intersection of Kay Rd. and Treasure Ln. in Pine Island.
“All we need now is some cold weather,” said Kowal.