Tree Removal to Begin in City Park

The City of Rock Valley would like to inform residents that tree removal will begin next week. While we never like removing trees, it has been recommended by multiple experts that some trees must come down, in order to improve the overall health of the park.

To prepare for the likelihood of the Emerald Ash Borer coming to Rock Valley, the City partnered with Iowa State University Extension program and hosted an arborist to tour the community, assess our tree health and make recommendations for future pruning and removal. The community-wide tree assessment concluded that many of our tree lined streets, parks and trails have a large population of Ash trees. They also concluded that the City Park has a high number of trees that are all the same age and height. The recommendation from the ISU staff was to thin out the entire canopy in the City Park, not limited to just the Ash trees. Thinning out the entire tree population would allow the healthy trees to continue growing.

As the Park Improvement Master Plan moved forward, the Beautification Committee and City Council decided to strategically remove the bulk of the Ash trees, as well as other species who were unhealthy, overgrown or in to close of proximity to other trees. Quotes for removal services were obtained and the City Council approved Top Notch Tree service to begin work removing trees and grinding stumps when time permits over the winter and spring months. The City Maintenance department will grade and seed the voids left from the tree removal work as soon as spring weather permits.

While we are sad to see some trees go, the professionals and committees that worked on the park plan believe this is the best path forward. The new park plan includes plans to plant multiple new trees, which will offer a variety of ages, heights, and types. This has been recognized by experts as the best way to ensure the health of all trees in the park. The layout of trees has also been planned in such a way that will allow grass to grow and thrive, which will also be a big improvement.