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Trees in Trouble: Saving America’s Urban Forests cover photo

Trees in Trouble: Saving America’s Urban Forests 2015

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Andrea Torrice for Torrice Media
Directed by Andrea Torrice
DVD, color, 88 min.

Middle School - General Adult
Public Health, Urban Agriculture, Urban and Regional Planning

Date Entered: 07/05/2016

Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH

When it became apparent that emerald ash borers would devastate its urban forests Cincinnati began to remove its ash trees even before the insects arrived. The cost of tree removal in the interest of public safety was $3.7 million by 2015, with no funding available for tree replacement. Though a few trees were able to be saved through intensive treatment, a sizeable percentage of the urban forest was lost with little hope of being replaced.

This short film clearly shows the value of the urban forest: the aesthetics of greenspace; the shielding of recreational areas; the protection of urban watersheds and filtering of runoff pollutants. Additionally, studies are attempting to quantify the effect of the loss of trees on public health. Though Cincinnati has a long tradition of recognizing the value of trees and forest products, the city budget is unable to afford the fight against the emerald ash borer. So far the cost exceeds $2 billion to communities in the 35 states that are infected with the emerald ash borer. So what is the solution? If communities can’t afford to solve the problem, volunteers can!

Trees in Trouble is highly recommended as a clear explanation of the emerald ash borer infestation, the economic impact on the forests in infested states, and the difficulty and expense of eliminating infected trees and developing borer-resistant strains of ash trees. Until the pest can be controlled or a resistant ash tree developed, volunteers modeling their efforts on Arbor Day-style plantings could replace removed ash trees with other local flora to reduce the impact on the urban forest. The DVD also contains a viewer’s guide and a community action tool kit for getting organized.