Clarendon highway chief fears ‘total disaster’ coming from dead ash trees

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2021 at 7:59 am

CLARENDON – Tracy Chalker, the Clarendon town highway superintendent, has already had to spring into action four times recently with highway workers to remove fallen ash trees from Clarendon roadways.

The ash trees in town have been decimated by the emerald ash borer, which have caused widespread destruction to ash trees throughout the country.

“It will be a total disaster in four, five years with ash trees coming down,” Chalker told the Clarendon Tow Board on Tuesday.

Town Councilman Allen Robinson said the state and county should consider a pre-emptive plan to take down trees off the right-of-way that are in danger of falling into roads and taking down wires.

“There’s a lot of dead trees,” Robinson said. “There will be a lot of trees that will be flopping in the roads.”

Town Supervisor Richard Moy said he has been taking an informal inventory of the ash trees, and they are in big numbers around town.

“There are so many of them,” he said.

Chalker and the highway workers were praised by Town Councilman Marc Major for their speedy response in removing the trees. Major is also a volunteer firefighter and he said the highway workers are quickly on scene when a tree comes down in the road.