July 29, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer found in Milwaukee

 

PHOTO: DATCP

The destructive Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Milwaukee. Forestry Services Manager David Sivyer said the discovery was made on the city’s northwest side. “These are trees on private property, and I think what’s interesting about this site, there are three large ash trees that are heavily infested, that are either dead or nearly dead, and just a block over there is a block of ash street trees that have been protected by chemical treatment, that are perfectly fine. In spite of the drought, they look green they’re healthy.”

Sivyer said the discovery of EAB means about 33,000 of city owned street trees are at risk, along with more than 9,000. He said trees can be treated, but that has to begin before the bugs arrive. “With this pest, it’s very elusive, very difficult to detect. It’s only after the tree expresses symptoms that you can really discover it,” he said

The city has been proactively injecting its own ash trees for several years, to protect them against EAB. Siviyer said the city will have to decide whether it wants to continue those injections and whether, over the long-term, to gradually replace ash trees with other species. As EAB, which has now been confirmed in 11 counties, continues to move across Wisconsin, Sivyer said property owners need to be proactive now. That means treating ash trees to protect them, or making plans to remove and replace them. Doing nothing, he said, is not an option.