LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - New spray rules are concerning

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If you have old and established shade trees on your property this letter may interest you. There was a codling moth alert published in the Aug. 8 edition of the Union-Bulletin. It said we should spray host trees on our property every two weeks with a pesticide labeled to control codling moth. Walnut trees are considered a host.

A friend has a very old and beloved, extremely large walnut tree in the yard. It would be impossible to spray without the use of a helicopter. She has a beautiful koi pond beside the tree. Any spraying could kill her fish. The cost of complying with this spray program is prohibitive.

I have several old bing cherry trees in my yard. I was able to be in compliance with our local spray program earlier this summer and had no problems.

I was told if for some reason I was unable to comply my trees could, with the sanction of the sheriff's office, be bulldozed at my expense.

My understanding is that my friend's walnut tree could be destroyed if it was considered a potential problem.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture held a public hearing in Pendleton on July 29. It was about a proposed rule change to expand the local control area to all of Umatilla County and add new pests and hosts.

The new host trees are: Alder, elm, maple, oak, poplar and willow. Other new hosts are bearberries, blueberries, caneberries, elderberries, grape, kiwi, nectarines, strawberries and blackberries.

Our local Milton-Freewater ODA representative and our local county extension agent were not informed of this hearing until July 28.

I am concerned not only with the rights of property owners with established shade trees, but with wildlife and bird habitat as well as fish habitat. Spraying the willows that grow along stream and river banks would be a disaster.

If enough people protest these new rules by Sept. 1, they will be dropped. Please write to: ODA, 635 Capitol St. N.E., Salem OR. 97301 or e-mailsgooch@oda.state.or.us.

Judy Williams
Milton-Freewater

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