Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in southeastern Michigan in 2002, and since then it has killed more than 50 million ash trees in over 20 infested states and provinces.
EAB infestations have been detected in 13 Iowa counties with the most recent occurring in Story County in August. EAB has yet to arrive in West Des Moines, but city officials are preparing for the inevitable. There are 52 million woodland ash trees and 3.1 million urban ash trees in the state, according to the Department of Natural Resources’ website.
Learning from Chicago’s Success
Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Streets and Sanitation announced a 93 percent survival rate for ash trees inoculated in 2011 and 2012. “The Emerald Ash Borer treatment program is a common sense investment in Chicago’s parkway trees,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Chicago Commissioner Charles Williams said “The positive success rate in EAB retreatment is encouraging, and the Department looks forward to completing the remaining inoculations of all viable ash trees this fall.”
The Old and New Plans
The city’s initial management plan called for the removal of the entire inventory of 1,100 of ash trees over about a four-year period. These ash trees were to be removed “regardless of location, current condition or benefits provided.”
The West Des Moines City Council now plans to cover the cost of TREE-äge injections for healthy adult trees that meet the criteria and are located in the public right of way. “We’re saving the ones that will be around for a while,” Councilman Rick Messerschmidt said after the meeting.
Tony and Connie Powers joined other Des Moines residents and signed a “tree lovers” petition. They were pleased with the new approach that should give their ash trees prolonged life.
“We have such a beautiful canopy of ash trees,” said Tony Powers. “That’s one of the significant features of our street. Can you imagine if the city were to cut down all of our ash trees? It would just leave the neighborhood with a barren look.”
Arborjet for Your City
We have a responsibility for the health of our city’s trees and urban landscapes. It’s imperative that we protect valuable public trees, reduce liability, and manage costs for future generations.
“There are still some larger communities that have not put together a plan, and there are many communities that do not have a tree expert,” said Emma Hanigan, an urban forestry coordinator at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
©2014 Arborjet, Inc. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some crop protection products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your state or local extension service to ensure registration status. TREE-äge® Insecticide is a Restricted Use Pesticide and must only be sold to and used by a state certified applicator or by persons under their direct supervision. TREE-äge® is a registered trademark of Arborjet, Inc.