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Cedar Links trees cut because of infestation

Why did the city cut down a bunch of the cedar trees at the former Cedar Links Golf Course?

— Cathy, Medford

This is an easy one, Cathy. Short answer: They died.

The 30 or so trees were victims of a bark beetle infestation, according to city of Medford arborist Adam Airoldi. He says the city had been watering to the best of its ability, but the trees had been somewhat dependent on golf course irrigation levels — and when the golf course went away so did much of the trees' water supply.

That stress, plus recent hot weather, helped bring about the demise.

"That eventually makes the trees susceptible to beetle infestation," Airoldi says. "It's a fairly common thing."

The city removed the affected trees about a month ago. At least as many cedars are left, along with about four oaks.

"We are doing our best to preserve the remaining ones that are healthy," Airoldi says.

The episode is a cautionary tale, he adds. Summer officially kicks off this week, and city officials urge home and landowners to get enough water to trees so the same thing doesn't happen during the long hot days ahead. Bark mulch should also be used at the bases, a method to preserve water and keep the soil consistently moist and cool.

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