Emerald ash borer discovered in city of Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee officials are urging cooperation from residents in their battle  against the emerald ash borer (EAB). It was discovered in private ash trees in the Menomonee River Hills neighborhood on Thursday, July 12th.

The emerald ash borer, an exotic beetle native to Asia, has been responsible for the loss of millions of trees in the United States since its introduction. The beetle digs into the tree and cuts off its nutrients, killing it from the top down.

“Generally by the time the tree starts to show symptoms, it’s so far gone, that chemical treatment is not an option,” said Forestry Services Manager David Sivyer.

Ash trees constitute 17% of the tree canopy in Milwaukee. It is estimated there are 587,000 ash trees at risk to EAB in Milwaukee. City officials are urging residents to take action against the EAB now.

“We are urging residents to treat their ash trees or remove and replace them with a resistant type of shade tree before they become infested with emerald ash borer,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

12 counties in Wisconsin have already been affected by the EAB. The bug travels mostly when people move firewood.

“There’s no rhyme or reason to where the emerald ash borer is going to turn up next and that is because people move it,” said Melody Walker, Pest Survey and Control expert.

Information is available at the Wisconsin emerald ash borer site, emeraldashborer.wi.gov.

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