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Tribe’s Environment Division Searching for Sites to Plant 360 Trees Along State Rte. 37

Nov 3, 2021

In an effort to restore some of the tree canopy loss caused by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) Environment Division is searching for sites along or near State Route 37 in Akwesasne to plant trees this fall.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle native to Asia that was accidentally introduced to the United States. Since its discovery in the State of Michigan in 2002, the destructive pest has been responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Ash trees across the country. Dead trees threaten Mohawk cultural practices such as basketmaking, as well as cause safety hazards as the large trees become extremely brittle.

SRMT Environment Land Resources Program has collaborated with local and federal programs to identify, assess and mitigate the progression of the invasive infestation to protect the local environment. This included the free removal of Ash trees for local properties in 2019.

Funded by USDA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a total of 360 native trees and shrubs will be available for planting with a variety of over 30 different species for homeowners to choose from. Sites will be assessed individually prior to planting to ensure that the selected tree or shrub is suitable for the site (i.e. soil texture, drainage, utility wires, etc.). Small, medium and large-sized trees are available. Discussing the height of trees at maturity and proper planning will avoid unnecessary tree maintenance in the future, as the responsibility of maintaining and caring for the replacement trees, or any remaining ash trees, rests with the landowner.

Replacement trees may include highbush cranberry, witch hazel, black elderberry, sugar maple, tamarack, balsam fir, white pine, hackberry, eastern redbud, black tupelo, black cherry and more, depending on matching soil conditions.

Environment staff plan to begin visiting potential sites beginning Monday, Kentenhkó:wa/November 8, 2021 and begin planting shortly thereafter, aiming for the project to be completed within the next six weeks.

If interested, community members are asked to contact Normand Genier, Tribal Forester, as soon as possible at the Environment Division at (518) 358-5937.