THE ISSUE: Emerald Ash Borers have been located in Iowa and appear to be inching closer to Perry and Dallas County.
THE IMPACT: City leaders are selecting Ash Trees on public property to tear down and replace before the ash borers get to them, while some local businesses are offering services to treat ash trees on private property and at residential properties.
The Perry Tree Board is beginning to take cautionary steps towards the scenario in which Emerald Ash Borer harbor in trees within the Perry community. In recent years, Dallas County officially announced the discovery of the beetle thriving inside trees within the area.
Perry Tree Board member Jeff Hix described the infestation as an attack to the immune deficiency in trees.
“What we’re doing right now is decreasing the population of the ash trees,” Jinx said. “Any of the trees that would consider ‘street trees,’ we’re going through and picking those as a priority list to remove.”
The infestation works as a nutrient-stopper for trees, resulting in a gradual loss of leaves followed by death of the tree. The beetle can inhabit trees during the wintertime, making it difficult to identify as other insects can produce similar effects, Walton Tree Service Co-Owner, Tim Walton said.
If an Ash Borer tree is found in a residential area, residents have the opportunity to either remove the tree or save it, per their request.
Over the past year, members of the Perry Tree Board tied dark green ribbons around trees as a method of awareness to show the public how many trees could be taken down due to the infection.
Hix said once the bug is established in the area, it moves around 3-5 miles per year.
There are two potential outcomes for those who finds evidence of Ash Borer in a tree: cut down and replant or begin a continuous two-year tree treatment program.
“I don’t want to cut it down - I want to save it,” Walton said.
Many companies are beginning to work towards the development of a treatment for trees. For Walton Tree Service, Walton said the pesticide they use to correct the sickness is TREE-AGE, created by Arborjet.
According to Walton, the chemical made its debut in 2000 as an agent to treat other insects. It was by chance that the injection worked as a short-lived cure for the restoration of trees infected with Ash Borer.
Walton Tree Service started the injection treatment four years ago, injecting an estimated 200 trees this year so far.
“If the tree is in good location, it’s not too close to other trees or a house, I recommend it,” Walton said. “It’s all about placement.”
The cost of the procedure ranges from $9-12.00 per inch and the injection will temporarily cure the tree for two years. After, renewal injections will continue over a period of two years.
“All I can do is give people options and let them make the choice,” Walton said. “It’s all about prevention right now.”
Hix said a discovery of the tree sickness has not been discovered in the city limits of Perry.
“If the public has any trees that look bad, they can get a hold of City Hall to send (Tree) Board Members out,” Hix said.