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Why are Some Trees in the Park Being Removed?


A visitor to Greenwich Point may notice eight or ten stumps in the woods near the bird feeding area as well as in other areas of the park. These are the stumps from Ailanthus altissimo trees, also called Tree-of-Heaven. Ailanthus trees are invasive; they release chemicals through their roots and leaves which inhibit the growth of nearby native species. Ailanthus trees are a favorite host to another invasive species, the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula.) The Spotted Lanternfly is threatening at least 25 species of trees by feeding on the tree’s sap, leading to open wounds and mold, which can affect the growth or even kill the host tree. Birds often don’t eagerly eat the Spotted Lanternfly possibly because it tastes bitter from the Ailanthus tree chemicals. According to Dr. Gregory Kramer,

Searle, Urling. A Conversation with Dr. Gregory 

Kramer, Greenwich Superintendent of Parks and Trees/Tree Warden. Greenwich Sentinel, May 7, 2022. 


(August 28, 2018) Tree-of-heaven and the Spotted 

Lanternfly: Two Invasive Species to Watch

Greenwich Superintendent of Parks and Trees/Tree Warden, “When a Spotted Lanternfly feeds on a tree that does not contain distasteful toxins, our native birds will eat them.” As the Ailanthus trees are removed, the birds will help control the Spotted Lanternfly population. The cut-down Ailanthus tree stumps will be ground down, and in their place will be planted various native trees that benefit wildlife. More trees will be planted than are removed.

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Spotted Lantern Fly egg mass

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Spotted Lantern Fly early stages

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Spotted Lantern Fly early stages

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