Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Green Bay plans EAB offensive

Industry News

The Wisconsin city is seeking funding to combat the destructive insect.


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The battle to save Green Bay’s ash tree population could be about to intensify.

With new signs that the destructive emerald ash borer insect is here, city officials are seeking a federal grant of more than $150,000 to fund widespread removal and treatment of trees.

Assistant City Forester Brian Pelot called it the city’s most aggressive effort yet and said officials are confident that they can significantly limit the insect’s spread.

“We feel that we’re hitting it pretty early in the game here,” he said.

The emerald ash borer is a metallic green beetle that chews through the bark of ash trees, often killing them in three years or less.

First detected in Michigan about 10 years ago, the invasive beetle was found in Green Bay in 2009 and again in 2012. The city plans to combat the spread within a 11/2-mile radius of where the first beetle was found here.

If the city gets the grant, officials hope to cut down about 200 ash trees a year for five years, replacing them with other trees as much as possible. The estimated 420 ash trees that remain within the zone will be treated with insecticide to kill off any emerald ash borers that are present.

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