Cedar Rapids cutting down more than 300 ash trees - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids cutting down more than 300 ash trees

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- The City of Cedar Rapids says they will cut down nearly 325 ash trees over the next three months in response to the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer in Iowa.

The Iowa DNR has told cities that they should individually determine the health of their trees and take the action they feel necessary.  One suggestion is to cut down the dead or dying ash trees and replace with a species that will add diversity to the area.

This will be the second round of ash tree removal for the city.  Around 160 ash trees were taken down in the first round last year.

Officials found the Emerald Ash Borer in Allamakee County in May of 2010.  The wood boring beetle, which is native to eastern Asia, was first found in the U.S. in Detroit, Michigan in 2002.  It has since killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Human activity is the key factor in the spread of the beetle, so residents should purchase and use only local firewood to avoid transporting it with the wood.

For more information, visit the EAB section of the Iowa DNR Forestry website at www.iowadnr.gov.

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