augusta free press news

South Wayne will never be the same

Tree-lined South Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro is about to be no more.

This, for me, is about as hyper local news as you can get.

I’ve lived on South Wayne since 2011, and I’ve got to be honest: the trees lining both sides of the street were a big part of the curb appeal.

I’m outside quite a bit, walking my dogs, going for daily runs on the greenway, a quarter-mile down South Wayne from my front door.

When I look up at the trees, look down the street, I imagine that the views are similar to ones people would have had 100 years ago.

I got a letter from the government the other day, opened and read it, it said they were suckers.

No, actually what it said is, the trees – ash trees – are under threat from the Emerald Ash Borer.

There are grant programs to treat ash trees with an insecticide to prevent EAB infestation, and the city has been able to secure grant funds to treat trees in Ridgeview Park and select neighborhoods in the city.

Sadly, for me, my neighborhood is not among the select.

Word is, the trees on South Wayne don’t meet the criteria to be treated, so the move is to remove them completely.


This is beginning in October.

The letter from the city parks and rec folks tells us that “(a)t our earliest opportunity, we will work to obtain grant funds to plant new trees,” which, no offense, but this is Waynesboro.

The over/under on earliest opportunity to plant those trees is the end of my actuarial life expectancy, and you’re not going to be surprised to learn that I’m taking the over.

Another check mark on the “reasons to get out of town” side of the ledger.

Column by Chris Graham