A months-long drought and a small, green beetle have caused the deaths of more trees than usual this summer in Franklin.
The emerald ash borer, a type of beetle, has killed off many of Franklin’s ash trees, which make up 11 percent of the trees the city has planted and cares for, Franklin tree board chairman Larry Nun said.
At the same time, the drought that hit the state this summer caused many types of trees to die from lack of water, Nun said.
Now, the tree board is requesting more money to replace those trees.
The tree board receives $5,000 every year from the city, but that won’t cover the cost of replacing the trees. So the board asked for $17,250 in the city’s 2013 budget, Nun said.
All of the money would go toward replacing the trees along sidewalks and curbs in downtown Franklin and throughout the community, Nun said. He is unsure how many trees the money would purchase.
“They help with stormwater. They’re very important to the city itself,” Nun said.
Volunteers serve on the tree board, and three workers employed by the street department trim and water the trees, Nun said.
Other city departments also spend money on new trees, including the parks department, which has budgeted $9,500 to spend on trees in 2013, parks superintendent Chip Orner said.
The Franklin City Council is discussing the 2013 budget and will decide if the tree board should receive more money.