Bowers Harbor Park Tree Cutting on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Tree cut at Bowers Harbor Park due to Beech Tree Disease | Jane Boursaw Photo

If you’ve noticed some trees missing at Bowers Harbor Park, that’s because the Peninsula Township Parks Committee approved the cutting of them due to Beech Bark Disease, a disease caused by both a sap-feeding scale insect and a fungus.

According to this report over at Michigan.gov, the trees are first infested with beech scale. Scale feeding allows infection by the Neonectria fungus, which kills the wood, blocking the flow of sap. Affected trees decline in health and eventually die.

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While some of the trees – marked with one ribbon earlier this year – at Bowers Harbor Park needed to be cut down, others marked with two ribbons only needed to be trimmed. The most hazardous trees were selected to be removed, to also help mitigate tree risk to park goers.

Bowers Harbor Park Tree Cutting on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Trees marked for cutting and trimming at Bowers Harbor Park | Jane Boursaw Photo

At their January meeting, the Parks Committee approved a bid of $4200 from Parshall Tree Care Experts to tend to the trees, including treating them with a spray in the months of July or August. This treatment, which needs to be done for two consecutive years, prevents the insects from boring through the bark and killing the tree.

Corey Parshall of Parshall Tree Care Experts notes that the spray for the Beech trees is a species-specific application, so other insects, such as honey bees, are not affected.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Parks Committee member Eric Dreier, (231) 223-7848, or Corey Parshall, (231) 409-1295.

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A lifelong resident of the Old Mission Peninsula, Jane grew up on a cherry farm (Johnson Farms), married the boy next door (Tim Boursaw), and raised two kids there (Will and Marissa). Her 35-year career as a photojournalist includes bylines with the New York Times and Ladies' Home Journal, and interviews with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. But she loves writing about the OMP most of all.

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