Local News

July 8, 2014

Oskaloosa has plan to deal with Ash Borer

OSKALOOSA — The Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Eddyville, and the city of Oskaloosa has a plan to deal with the situation.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a small, metallic-green beetle from Asia that arrived in Detroit in about 2002. The insect has been found in Iowa and the state is now in an ash tree quarantine.

The Emerald Ash Borer lays its eggs in an ash tree. Its larvae will bore into the tree and cut off nutrient flow in the tree and cause it to die.

Both the Emerald Ash Borer and its larvae have been found in Eddyville, Oskaloosa City Management Analyst Dylan Mulfinger said in a presentation to the city council Monday evening.

There are about 135 trees in a three-quadrant area of Oskaloosa, Mulfinger said.

The city of Oskaloosa has a three-part plan to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer — remove ash trees, replant trees and update the city code, Mulfinger said.

For removal, city employees will take the least desirable trees first. The cost for ash tree removal is estimated at $175,000 in city right of ways and in Edmundson Park — roughly $800 to $1,200 per tree. The cost of a tree replacement plan is about $10,000, Mulfinger said.

Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt asked if an ash tree has to be removed from someone’s right of way, would the city cooperate with the landowner.

City officials would take “a more hands-on approach” with the property owner to provide information and advice on tree removal and replacement, Mulfinger said. City officials have information from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to present to people concerning things such as the best location for trees and the types of trees to plant, he said.

Mulfinger said that city employees will remove 10 to 15 trees at a time. He also said that treating ash trees is not cost effective and the chemicals involved would likely cause environmental issues.

“It looks to be a 10 to 15 year project,” Krutzfeldt said.

Council member Tom Walling asked if there are any ash trees in the Oskaloosa city square.

Mulfinger said there are no ash trees in the city square.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com

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