A program is offering Anchorage homeowners an incentive to remove invasive Mayday trees

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 4:43 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Many people have Mayday trees in their yards but according to Community Forester Jim Renkert, that’s a big problem.

“It is a beautiful tree, it has beautiful white flowers in the spring, it smells so wonderful, but this beauty has become a beast,” said Renkert. “It’s become a bully.”

Renkert said Mayday trees, also called European Bird Cherry trees, cause unforeseen problems. Birds eat the berries then deposit the seeds in their droppings, often miles away.

Along greenbelts in Anchorage, Renkerk said Mayday saplings are taking over. They are crowding out Alaska native trees, plants and shrubs and altering habitat for fish and wildlife.

It’s why the Community Forestry Program is offering an incentive to Anchorage homeowners to remove Mayday trees and replace them with other trees.

“We will come out and inspect the tree to make sure it is a Mayday or Bird Cherry and then it’s up to you to get rid of It,” said Renkert. “And once you’ve gotten rid of it, you let us know, we come back and confirm that, and then we can give you a $100 voucher to a local nursery to replace your tree.”

Homeowners in Anchorage must apply for the vouchers by filling out an online application.

Renkert said $8,000 is available for the program and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding is gone.

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