City to begin annual treatment on ash trees

Metro Wire Staff

City crews will begin treating its 300 public ash trees on Monday.

Working with a third-party contractor, Trugreen, will administer preventative treatments for Emerald Ash Borer. Most public trees are located in the right-of-way, between the street and the sidewalk, according to City Forester Todd Ernster, and the treatments are injected directly into the tree.

“There are a few ash trees located in parks and other odd city-owned lots that may be treated,” Ernster said in an emailed statement. “The treatments should be completed by the end of the month.”

Ernster said EAB was first confirmed in Stevens Point in April 2016. Since then, he said, his crew has spotted infested trees scattered throughout the entire city.

“Any ash trees not chemically treated for the prevention of EAB will be infested by the insect and ultimately killed in the next few years,” Ernster said. “Property owners wishing to save their ash trees are urged to contact a local tree care professional.”

Residents with infested ash trees smaller than 12 inches in diameter can successfully treat their own tree with products bought at home and garden centers, Ernster said. Products such as Ortho Bug-B-Gone Year Long Tree and Shrub Insect Control, or Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Protection, are examples of insecticides labeled to control EAB, as both contain the active ingredient of imidicloprid.

Ernster recommends a demonstration video of using the products at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLEVxteP7OQ.

City crews continue to remove ash trees with new species as time and funding allows. Last March, Ernster estimated his department would replace about 225 ash trees in city parks through 2020.

Additional information can be found on the city’s forestry department webpage at stevenspoint.com/forestry.