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Dozens of trees threatened by the emerald ash borer in Germantown

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GERMANTOWN -- The emerald ash borer is threatening trees in Village of Germantown. Now, officials are taking action.

Jay Olszewski

Jay Olszewski

The village is in the process of cutting down about 150 trees along the Pilgrim Rd. corridor. About two-thirds of those are ash trees.

"Because of emerald ash borer being present, if a tree is not treated, it will eventually die," said Jay Olszewski, superintendent of highways, parks, buildings and grounds for Germantown.

After the emerald ash borer was found in the village, officials were assessing the cost of treating its ash population. At the same time, We Energies was planning to prune trees that could conflict with its power service.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

"If you were going to invest in the treatment aspect of it, we kind of looked at it and went, 'Okay, what are you going to have left?' You're going to have a tree that's pruned on this side, pruned on that side," said Olszewski.

tree2Ultimately, officials decided the most efficient use of resources -- for both projects -- would be to fell a portion of the trees and plant new ones. Other trees have been marked for treatment.

Richard Lemke lives along Pilgrim Rd. and said he first found out about the village's plan a few weeks ago.

"I didn't want them all cut down. But they said why and I understood why," said Lemke.

Olszewski says the village has budgeted about $24,000 to plant roughly 60 new trees in 2016.

"It's not as aesthetically pleasing as we'd like. But I think within the next two to three years, once we get everything replanted, I think we're going to be in a much better spot," said Lemke.

Olszeweski tells FOX6 News officials hope to start planting the new trees with their first round of spring planting.