Emerald ash borer discovered in Village of Fox Point

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FOX POINT — The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive insect of ash trees, was recently discovered and has been confirmed on the northwest side of the Village of Fox Point.

The EAB was discovered near the Indian Creek detention basin located along the west side of Port Washington Road and south of Dean Road. There are now thirteen municipalities within Milwaukee County that are confirmed positive with this invasive pest which has also spread to and affected 25 states destroying tens of millions of ash trees.

EAB is a metallic‐green beetle that measures approximately ½ inch long. The immature stage of the insect feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB infested ash trees include thinning or dying branches in the upper canopy, evidence of woodpecker activity, S‐shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D‐shaped exit holes, and water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches).

This detection resulted as members of a private arboricultural company, contracted by the Village to perform pre‐emptive ash tree removals, noticed a suspicious looking ash tree. Branch samples were given to the Village Forester, who in turn sent photos to a WDNR Forester Health Specialist who confirmed the samples revealed EAB injury.

The Village has had an EAB Initiative since 2011, knowing that this invasive insect pest would eventually make its presence known. The Initiative is a proactive approach to managing ash within the Village right‐of‐way (ROW) and other Village owned properties. The initiative includes a combination of pre‐emptive removals with diverse species replanting and treatment of high condition trees to preserve the tree canopy. With the positive detection of EAB in the Village, current strategies will be reviewed and evaluated for more aggressive options including possible acceleration of the management objectives of the initiative.

Management of ash on private property has been and will continue to be the responsibility of each individual property owner. If a landowner is interested in protecting valuable and healthy ash trees within 15 miles of a known infestation, he or she should contact qualified tree service companies this winter to inspect potential candidates for treatment this coming spring and summer.