A resolution accepting a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation [MDC] will assist Manchester in the removal of invasive trees.
At its Oct. 21 meeting, the Board of Aldermen approved acceptance of the $25,000 Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance [TRIM] grant. The TRIM program is a competitive, cost-share program designed to provide financial assistance for the management, improvement and conservation of community forests. In Manchester, the grant will subsidize costs associated with tree removal and replacement on Howard George Drive.
In July, the city acquired Howard George at the road’s south terminus at Enchanted Parkway to the state right-of-way line near 1021 Howard George Drive. That stretch of road previously was owned and maintained by MoDOT.
The project area is about 1,400 feet long and located on the South Outer Road/Howard George Drive along Route 141 between Dennison Estates and Mandalay drives. Thirty-five mature Bradford pear trees and a hillside full of invasive hybrid Callery pear sprouts will be removed. The trees are invasive and pose a safety risk for pedestrians and motorists due to the ease with which they lose limbs.
Because the city of Manchester received its Tree City USA designation earlier this year, the city is eligible for a 75/25 cost-share split for in-kind match program, rather than the usual 60/40. The city is required to pay the lesser amount. In total, the cost of the project is $41,956.
In accordance with ANSI A300 planting standards and consistent with MDC TRIM grant planting guidelines, 20 native trees, including swamp white oak and blackgum, will be planted at a 50-foot spacing along the Howard George corridor. Areas with existing evergreen trees [white pine and arborvitae] will be left open to minimize shading and promote the success of the established trees. A three-year maintenance plan is included in the grant.
It is anticipated that by year three, the trees will be self-supporting. The city’s contract arborist will monitor the health of the new trees and recommend water or other treatments as necessary.
The removal of the existing trees will take place between now and March 31, 2020. The planting of new trees will take place in spring 2020, but before the agreement ends on June 30.