State agricultural officials said that in the other two Iowa states an insect was killed killing millions of ash trees.
Officials said in a press release Friday that this emerald locust has been confirmed in Carroll County, West Iowa, and Tyler County, Southwest. This brings the total number of Iowa to 57 of the 99 counties.
The latest pests were discovered by the tree service, which reminded the Iowa Agricultural and Land Management Department.
Infected trees usually lose leaves at the top of the canopy and the die-off spreads downward. The trees usually die within four years.
The insects have killed tens of millions of ash trees. They are native to Asia and were first reported in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002. The insects were first detected in Iowa in 2010.
Fink assured me that the felled trees were not oaks.
“We won’t remove oak trees unless there’s oak wilt or it’s dead,” he said. “We do everything we can to preserve oak trees.”
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has a YouTube video to help identify an ash tree and distinguish it from an oak, elm or maple.
The emerald ash borer is a beetle with metallic green wings and an iridescent abdomen. The larvae feed on vascular tissues under the bark of ash trees, interrupting the flow of nutrients and water, effectively starving the trees.
Neenah is in the fourth year of a five-year management plan to cut down 973 park and street ash trees — even the healthy ones — and replace them with other species.
The project is estimated to cost $355,000, or $71,000 annually.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer in Neenah in 2016, though it likely was in the city before that.
Fink said the area around Memorial Park has a “pretty heavy infestation.” He noticed two dead ash trees on private property along Tullar Road.
“It’s here,” he said. “People have to do something.”