As Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that kills ash trees, spreads westward across Iowa, many communities are exploring options for reducing the number of vulnerable trees in town. Ash is one of the most common street trees in the state, and Wall Lake City Clerk, Chris Rodman, says this is true for their community as well.
He adds the council has not formally adopted any EAB mitigation plan yet, and they are still very early in the process. As it stands right now, Rodman says city officials do not intend to cut down all the trees all at once, but they need to have a system in place to handle the problem before they have over 400 dead trees within city limits.
Rodman adds they will be communicating with homeowners who have ash trees on their property and will work with them individually as they move forward.
The borer is metallic green in color, slender and approximately a half inch long. Their larvae leave D-shaped exit holes that are approximately an eighth of an inch in diameter. Infested trees show symptoms that include branch dieback in the upper crown, water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, vertical bark splits, S-shaped tunneling under loose bark and woodpecker damage. EAB was first confirmed in neighboring Buena Vista County in 2017 and to the south in Carroll County in 2018.