Rhinelander Parks director discovers emerald ash borer in trees near Trig'sSubmitted: 09/30/2016

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RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of trees losing their leaves this time of year.  But a strip of trees near downtown Rhinelander is losing more than its leaves--those trees are losing their lives.

The ash trees sit between Trig's and the post office in Rhinelander.  City Parks Director Gunder Paulsen noticed that many are infected with the emerald ash borer and will need to come down.

It's nothing new to Paulsen, who says the City has about 200 ash trees in boulevards around town. Since the discovery in October 2014, the City treated some of the trees but was forced to remove many others.

"If the trees aren't treated, they're going to die," Paulsen said.  "It won't be long that all of this is going to come to a head. In the next few years there's going to be a lot of dead trees."

Paulsen wants to make sure people know the signs of the emerald ash borer. You can look for woodpecker flecking, especially near the tops of the trees. Suckers--or skinny branches--grow near the base of the ash trees. The telltale sign is a weaving path where the bug ate the tree.

Noticing those important signs could save your ash tree, which Paulsen hopes more people do.

"If you have a monoculture, or all the same species, when something comes around like dutch elm disease or emerald ash borer and wipes out 50 percent of your trees, you're going to be hurting," Paulsen said.

Friday, the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection announced that the emerald ash borer appeared in the Town of Crescent. Crescent and Rhinelander are the two communities in Oneida County with the beetle.

Paulsen says you can treat an ash tree that's infected as long as the canopy is less than 30 percent gone, but that treatment costs up to $200 per tree. Treatments need to be done periodically over a 10-year period.

For more information about the emerald ash borer, visit the DNR's website via the link below.

Related Weblinks:
DNR Emerald Ash Borer Website

Story By: Lane Kimble

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