Experts have said it was coming sooner or later, and now the Emerald Ash Borer is in Nebraska.
The state Department of Agriculture confirmed the beetle was found in an Omaha park.
Ag Director Greg Ibach says nearly one in ten trees in the state are at risk.
“In some cities and urban areas, ashes are actually a higher percentage of the urban forest, so it’s definitely a concern,” Ibach says. “Is it a surprise it’s shown up in Nebraska – probably not so much.”
Trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer typically die within a few years.
The beetle moves quickly, but a quarantine order has been issued for the five county Omaha metro-area.
“And that will put restrictions on ash trees being able to be sold and be repopulated in that area,” Ibach says. “If you’re outside the quarantine area, replanting with ash trees is probably not something you want to do. If you’re bringing home a shade tree, you probably don’t want to have that be an ash variety.”
Discovery of the invasive beetle here is not unexpected.
Emerald Ash Borer is already known to be in Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.