Posted 4/6/22

Ash Trees – Don’t Panic Dear Editor: Yes, the Ash trees in Chapman Park, both green ash and white ash will probably die. Other regions of the Eastern one half of this country pretty much have …

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Ash Trees – Don’t Panic

Dear Editor:

Yes, the Ash trees in Chapman Park, both green ash and white ash will probably die. Other regions of the Eastern one half of this country pretty much have proven that. I am expecting my ash trees to die and two years ago have planted a variety of other trees between them so that when ash tree removal is necessary there will still be trees there.

The shock of removing the ash trees from Chapman Park can be eased: first off, sometimes the trees don't all die at once, so it would be a wiser choice to re – move the trees when they first show signs of death not at first signs of bug damage. This can stretch out the removal over sev – eral years of time while still controlling liability issues. This, however, wouldn't be well received by the tree removal spe – cialist that want to get the job done and move on.

Once the trees are removed about two generations and their families will not have an atmosphere of the mature trees. None of the deciduous tree areas of Chap – man Park have such a dense canapé that you couldn't start new trees most any – where NOW. Thus, reducing the bareness of the full ash removal.

After ash tree removal, a diverse bio-culture of trees is talked about to pre – vent massive insect or disease outbreak in the future that is true. However, con – sidering the family generations who will be looking at somewhat an open park for years to come, a diverse variety of growth rate trees are also needed.

There are many varieties that would grow well at our park. Hard (sugar) ma – ples are a poor choice for the soil types at this park. Soft or silver maples aren't the best choice for Chapman Park either, even though they would grow good. When considering growth rate some good exam – ples are Burr Oaks, which could reach 20 feet tall in 30 years, generally grow in any location that Ash will grow, Basswood, which could reach 30 feet in 20 years and cottonless Cottonwoods, which could eas – ily reach 30 feet in only 10 years, (there are tall cottonwoods in the park currently). These and others are native to this area, which makes them good options.

That brings us to conifers. Any parks maintenance person reading this are now thinking, "Oh, no pines!!" They don't like to mow or maintain around pines even though the community like them. Those of us with some age on our bones can re – member when one could not look through the park from one side to the other. Now one can see cars pass the campgrounds while viewing from the south entrance of the park. It has been a long time since pine trees were planted in the park. I suspect this is probably because maintenance peo – ple, not the community, are making the influence on the decisions. The downside of Pines can easily be dealt with while still protecting their benefits.

Chapman Park, because of its features is not a typical small-town park. This is something the Stanley community can have great pride in. Usually, small town parks are like Cadott's. Theirs is neat, open, and pleasant, much like a wayside. Chapman and Fandry Parks have much more to offer and a lot more untapped po – tential.

This brings me back to my U.W.-Stout days where architecture/layout and design classes were pet classes of mine. This in – cluded studies of city "green spaces".

Chapman and Fandry Parks with its distinct picnic areas, ball fields, camp – ground, animal parks and activity areas have much to offer. With some careful and open-minded planning, Chapman and Fandry Parks could bring out some of the same atmosphere as area wide well-known Carson Park in Eau Claire and Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. These features are all here in Chapman and Fandry parks. The biggest change would be screening by simply including trees and other plant life in the different areas of the park offering a separation from the other areas as well as from the outside. An example would be not having to look at a big parking lot or ball field while having a family picnic or graduation celebration.

The main distinguishing difference with Carson and Irvine Parks from other parks are that even though they are in a city, when you step into them, whether it is for walking or picnicking or whatever activity, the park changes your outlook or mood. This is what you went there for, isn't it? Because all the areas in these parks are screened separately when you step into these parks, the outside world is screened out and you are stepping into a whole different frame of mind.

Chapman Park has everything it needs to become a mood changing park. All it needs is some professional long-range planning now while tree changes are being made and in years to come, most of these changes could be done simply with plant life.

Joe Tiry