Answer to Emerald Ash Borer a Work in Progress
Foresters from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently spent a day scouting out trees infested with emerald ash borers in eastern Iowa.
Des Moines County became the second confirmed in July to have the small pest that invades and kills the trees, after a homeowner in Burlington called to report a problem tree. Urban Forest Coordinator, Emma Hanigan, says the field work took place during the D-N-R’s annual statewide conference to prepare them as the bug spreads.
D-N-R foresters found about 40-percent of the Burlington’s ash trees have symptoms associated with the emerald ash borer.
City forester, Casey Chadwick, says they are still figuring out how to deal with the invasive beetle. He estimates that 10 to 20 percent of Burlington’s total tree canopy will be lost. The bug was first discovered on an island in the Mississippi River in Allamakee County in 2010. In August, the borer was found in Fairfield in Jefferson County. Officials say there is no real way to kill off the bugs once they infect a tree. Many cities are cutting down their ash trees as a preventative measure to keep the beetle from spreading. Officials estimate Iowa has 52-million rural ash trees and another thee-point-one (3.1) million in urban areas.
State experts say the borer is very slow moving on its own, but can be helped along by people moving firewood. They encourage you to help slow the spread of the bug by buying firewood at your campsite and not moving it around the state.