The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that Emerald Ash Borer has been found in trees removed from Pulaski Park at 40th and G Streets in Omaha. Mayor Jean Stothert says earlier this month Omaha city arborists conducted a demonstration by cutting down a tree to outline the city’s response plan.
Mayor Stothert says, “When we were out on June 3 at the park to talk about our pro-active plan for the Emerald Ash Borer, we demonstrated cutting a tree down that had all the signs of disease. We scraped the bark off the tree and saw evidence of an infestation of borer. That limb was sent off for evaluation and low and behold, we found the Emerald Ash Borer in the tree that we cut down for the demonstration.”
City arborists conducted an inventory of Ash trees on public property last year and estimate 11,500 trees. Omaha’s response plan includes removing approximately 6,000 trees that are already damaged by weather or other insects. Healthy ash trees can be pre-treated with insecticide to extend the life of the tree. City arborists estimate 5,000 trees will be treated with an injection into the trunk. The estimated cost is $100 per tree and it is required every two years for the rest of the tree’s life.
Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge Counties are included in a state quarantine area. Homeowners should contact a certified arborist to evaluate Ash trees on private property. The borer has been discovered in 27 states.