Emerald Ash Borers now detected in all parts of Lincoln

Emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Emerald Ash Borers first made their way to into the Capital City a few years ago, and since then the city said they’ve only become more prevalent.

The city has been working on different methods to not only get rid of the trees these invasive beetles target, but to treat some of them in hopes of preserving wildlife.

Emerald Ash Borers have been located in every quadrant of Lincoln. Starting close to downtown and moving in an X pattern. In the Northeast section, into Airpark, and in the southeast.

“We have confirmed it and some of the confirmations were on private property, but it’s still in that part of town,” said Lorri Grueber, Community Operations Forester.

In the past year the removal process has slowed down. In 2019, the city removed 791 ash trees. In 2020, it was 994. And so far in 2021, they’ve removed 420.

When the project started, the city estimated on its land there were around 14,000 ash trees, with a goal of removing 1,000 per year.

“We were proactively removing small ash trees so trees that were less than nine inches in diameter,” said Grueber. “That we could just travel down the street and take out lickety split”

They also partnered with neighborhood associations to remove trees in certain areas. But now the approach has shifted from a focus on removal to more treatments.

“We got approval to start treating trees to try and preserve some of our canopy,” said Grueber.

They’re still removing ash trees, but it’s more likely its a single tree at a time instead of taking out large sections like they had in the past.

“We treated 700 ash trees last year between 12 and 18 inch diameter trees our plan is to keep those treated and keep those ash trees here live and viable and providing shade and cleaning the air and using storm water for several to many years to come,” said Grueber.

The city is continuing its pledge to replace each ash tree it tears down, now giving people vouchers to buy a new one. Hopeful people will choose diverse trees.

“So that we don’t have two miles of all the same tree anymore for when the next big bug comes to town and we just keep this cycle going, were trying to break that up,” said Grueber.

The city also still has its adopt an ash tree promotion going on if you want to sponsor keeping an ash tree alive with treatments.

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