Many of the trees have a high risk of falling in high-traffic areas of the park, including the walking path and baseball field.
Editor's note: This story contained the wrong number of trees in the May 4 printed edition of The Warren County Record. The story has been corrected and updated for the online version.
The Wright City Board of Aldermen approved $17,000 for tree removal at Ruge Park during its April 27 meeting.
Polecats Tree Service LLC in Wright City received the contract, which has a total cost of $24,600. The company is donating some of the work.
Polecats owner and certified arborist Jennifer Pohlmann said work was to begin May 2 and take 4-5 days to complete. She identified the trees that needed to be removed, and focused on those that caused the most danger to people and structures at the park.
Polecats is working with Kyle Roettger, director of city services, to address the trees that need to be trimmed and which trees need to be removed, including those with a high risk of falling in high-traffic areas, including the baseball field, parking lot, playground, buildings, and walking path.
Trees that will be removed are currently marked with a red or orange tape. Pohlmann said these trees are all dead or dying. No live trees are coming out unless there is a risk it could hurt a person or damage one of the park structures.
Most of these are ash trees, which have died as a result of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer. The dark metallic green beetle was first discovered in Missouri in 2008 and can now be found killing ash trees across the state.
Pohlmann said new trees could be planted in the future to replace the trees that are being removed.
Pohlmann told the city after the work is complete, the city would need to provide routine maintenance to avoid another large expenditure in the future.
City Clerk Abbie Ogborn said future maintenance work would be handled by either the parks or public works departments.
People using Ruge Park should experience minimal intrusion. Sites where trees are being removed will be marked. Work is expected to begin about 7:30 a.m. and be finished no later than 6 p.m. until work is complete, Pohlmann said.
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