Uphill battle with Emerald Ash Borer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Uphill battle with Emerald Ash Borer

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One city calling it an uphill battle against mother nature.

Cedar Falls continues the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that feeds on Ash Trees, eventually killing them.

The city, now hoping to save the few healthy Ash Trees that are left.  

Like many cities, Cedar Falls has been cutting down infected Ash Trees for several years.

"Being in the Northeast part of the United States, ground-zero, we are kind of behind the ball as far as being able to control it," said Cedar Falls Director of Municipal Operations and Programs Mark Ripplinger.

In 2014, when the Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in the area, there wasn't a proven effective treatment for the infected Ash Trees.

"It would have been nice if they could have kept the trees. We don't really have many around anymore after they have started taking them all down," said Mitchell Dean, who lives near Ash Trees that we being cut down on Friday.

But cut down trees have one more purpose in life. They are left on the curb and anyone can pick them up and repurpose them.

Years after the pests arrived in the area, Cedar Falls is reconsidering the treatment plan.

The city considering a pesticide that might be able to kill the larva and save Ash Trees with only minor damage.

But that is only five percent of the city-owned Ash Trees.

"We are a Tree City USA for the last 37 years. It is something that we don't want to do, but we also have to be concerned about budgets," said Ripplinger.

Ash Tree removal doesn't cost taxpayers extra, but any possible pesticide treatments could cost thousands that aren't currently planned for.

The city council will be discussing the possibility of pesticide treatment both for city and privately owned trees in May.

The city is not responsible for Ash Trees on private property and recommends residents contact a local tree company if they are concerned about their Ash Trees.



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