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Cedarburg spends roughly $50,000 a year to fight invasive species

Posted at 6:59 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 08:12:59-04

CEDARBURG -- Cedarburg is about to lose hundreds of ash trees.

The invasive emerald ash borer is changing the landscape of the city.

Two-hundred alone are set to be cut down in a Cedarburg forest off of Sheboygan Road and Willowbrooke Drive, costing the city about $17,000.

Kevin Westphal, Cedarburg Parks & Forestry Superintendent showed us how emerald ash borer larvae starves the tree's root system.

"It's not like a dead elm that can stand there for years. These trees actually start to fall apart and become a hazard," said Westphal.

City leaders are trying an insecticide treatment to treat more than 1,200 ash trees on major roadways. This costs about $50,000. Westphal says it's a far cry from the roughly $1.3 million it would cost to chop them all down.

If you're wondering if your ash tree is infected, now is the perfect time to look for a helpful indicator, "The woodpecker activity in the upper crown is the first thing that foresters look for to see if there's an infestation in the area," explained Westphal.

For now, Westphal is hoping the treated trees can make it through this wave of beetles, warning, "We're basically seeing the loss of an entire species of a tree in the Midwest."