Ogden has as a problem. I see it everywhere. Saplings spring-up in gardens, along fences, next to the foundations of the houses, sheds, and garages. I pull them out but some of my neighbors don't. For the most part the trees are the same species — the species that last September's East Wind blew-down onto the roof of a neighbors house, breaking roof joists, etc.

At my neighbors' lot, three lots east, the species grows next to a chainlink fence just to the east of their house. Will the tree be cut down to save the chainlink fence before an East Wind crashes it onto their roof?

The species is in the backyard of the neighbor four lots west. That tree must be seventy feet tall. Summer and spring, it casts a shadow on a half dozen back yards, while also casting a blizzard of seeds.

How much would it cost that neighbor to remove that tree? I'd guess about $4,000. The tree is surrounded by structures and can't be cut at its base. The job will require a "cherry-picker" lift, and a specialist who can use equipment to ascend the tree, and cut and lower sections of limb and trunk from the top down.

A copse of the same species is in another neighbor's yard that Power and Telecommunications sub-contractors spent days hacking and hauling this past spring. That job must have cost a bundle. Of course, we who pay power and telecommunications bills ultimately pay these subcontractors.

What is this species? It's the only tree in the Noxious Weed Field Guide, published by USU, the Siberian Elm, an invasive noxious plant that in the wild crowds-out native trees, and in the city crowds out beauty, and serenity. It should be extirpated from city properties. It should be against city ordinance for a property owner to allow its growth.

David Ostler


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