Keeping Ash Trees Safe From The Emerald Ash Borer - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Keeping Ash Trees Safe From The Emerald Ash Borer

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The Quad Cities is gearing up for the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer, the invasive insect that kills ash trees.

Davenport is setting up a program for residents trying to protect their trees. 

Davenport city arborist Chris Johnson already has 50 people who want to save city owned ash trees in front of their homes. The city has been removing these trees, over 200 in the last year because they say the spread of an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer is inevitable.  

It's a bug that kills specifically ash trees, something Rock Island has already seen in Hasselroth Park.

"We're going to do mostly removals and replanting," said Johnson. "That's going to be our best bang for our buck, really after the long haul. Unfortunately, once you go down the treatment route, as of right now with the treatments that are on the market you have to treat the tree for the rest of it's life."

A new program Johnson's launching could save an ash tree from being removed in your neighborhood. If there's a city owned tree in your front yard on street and you don't want to see it torn down, there's a way to keep it there.

"If they're willing to pay to save that tree, then they can and they can take on the responsibility of keeping that tree alive and then through our permitting system and our inventory we'll be able to track who treats the trees, thus insuring it'll never get cut down, so long as it's being treated," said Johnson.

A cost that the resident has to pay for, that can range anywhere from $100-$200 every one or two years. 

"We're going to continue to remove over the next 5 years because in my best estimation, that's about the amount of time we'll have before we have standing dead trees along our city street," said Johnson.

He said the city just doesn't have the budget to save every ash tree.

To identify if you have an ash tree, look for large, blunt buds, that are directly opposite of each other on the stem. As for an infestation of ash borers, it's hard to see because they start in the upper portion of the tree. 

"It just works it's way zig-zagging as they say, serpentine galleries in the tree in the Cambium tissue and that's what kills off the tree eventually," said Johnson.

Johnson said even though Davenport hasn't physically seen the Ash Borer yet, he has to assume that the bug is already here in the city because it has been confirmed so close to the area in Rock Island. 

Johnson said they have $50,000 to spend on the Ash Borer problem this year and $35,000 will be spent on removing ash trees. 


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