In response to the confirmation of the Emerald Ash Borer’s (EAB) presence in Black Hawk County, the City Council of La Porte City approved a policy for addressing infected trees on public property.

The Emerald Ash Borer was positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Waterloo in January, making this the sixth location where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The current EAB infestation was found by city employees performing routine trimming on street trees. With the assistance of the Iowa EAB Team, additional trees were found to be infested in a 10 square block area on the northeast side of Waterloo. The larvae were positively identified by federal identifiers as EAB.

A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was  issued on February 4th.

La Porte City homeowners with ash trees on their private property are encouraged to start researching their options. One option would be to get estimates for the removal of private ash trees from licensed and insured tree services.

Those hoping to save their ash trees will want to research the methods and costs of treating ash trees each year.

“Preventive treatments this spring — mid-April to mid-May 2014 — are available to protect healthy and valuable ash trees within 15 miles of a known infested area,” said ISU Extension and Outreach Entomologist Mark Shour. For more details, logon to the Iowa State Extension online store at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/.

One thing is for certain. Homeowners who choose to do nothing will see their ash trees die when EAB attacks it.

City of La Porte City Policy on Removal of Trees Infested by the Emerald Ash Borer on Public Property

  1. INSPECTION – the Public Works Director or designee will inspect the City’s ash trees annually.  This inspection will be completed no later than June 1st each year.  By July 1 of each year, the Public Work Director or designee will submit to the City Council a report indicating the condition of the City’s ash trees as well as recommendations for pruning and/or removal.
  2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REMOVAL – any ash tree deemed to be infested with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) will be noted and reported to the Council.  Any ash tree found to be over 50% dead, or deemed to be a hazard will be recommended for immediate removal by the La Porte City Public Works Department or their designee.
  3. DISPOSAL OF INFESTED TREES – trees that are removed due to EAB infestation will be transported to the City’s yard waste area where it will be available to the public to cut up into firewood.
  4. SIGNAGE – the City will post signage at the yard waste area prohibiting the transport of infested materials across state lines.
  5. REPLACEMENT TREES – The City will replace all trees removed with a diverse mix of tree species to maintain city forest health.  The City will work with local groups to develop a list of suggested replacement trees as well as planting locations in the City.
  6. BUDGET – the City will establish a reserve fund in addition to regular budgeted expenditure to facilitate the removal and replacement of dead and/or diseased trees on public property.  A six year maintenance plan will be established as follows:

                   Expenditures                     Reserve

FY14             $  7,000                          $10,000

FY15             $  8,000                          $  5,000

FY16             $  8,000                          $  5,000

FY17             $  8,000                          $  5,000

FY18             $  8,000                          $  5,000

FY19             $  8,000                          $  5,000