Excerpt of a Letter from Fr. Bennet regarding the Calvary Cemetery Tree Removal:
In recent years, you may have observed, as we have, that a majority of the ash trees at Calvary Cemetery are infested by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive wood-boring beetle that has spread across the cemetery. After consulting with the City of Anoka, certified arborists, and three different tree companies, we learned that it takes about three years for signs of infestation to become initially visible (evidenced by woodpecker feeding holes, peeling bark, falling branches, and mushroom growth) and a total of 5-6 years for EAB to kill a tree. Catholic Mutual, our insurance provider, has deemed these infested and dead trees a safety issue, posing a hazard to individuals, property (including headstones), and a liability that must be addressed through removal.
Recognizing Calvary's spiritual significance and familial importance to those who visit to pay respects to their loved ones, it is imperative for St. Stephen's to take care of its landscape and properly remove these trees to prevent the further spread of EAB, safeguarding people and property. Despite the value we place on nature, the aesthetics of the grounds, and the associated costs, the decision to remove the diseased trees was not made lightly but deemed necessary.
As we look ahead, preserving and enhancing the beauty and decorum of Calvary Cemetery is of utmost importance, and we canot achieve this without your help. In the coming years, we plan to plant new trees and we invite you to be part of this effort. Consider planing a tree in memory of your loved one by making an online donation here.
To view the complete letter from Fr. Bennet and the letter from the City of Anoka Public Services-Parks & Recreation attached below. You can also watch this video made to show how EAB has affected our trees.
Thank you for your understanding, and together, we can create a resting place that is even more beautiful.