Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive insect of ash trees, was recently discovered and has been confirmed on the northwest side of the Village of Fox Point. The EAB was discovered near the Indian Creek detention basin located along the west side of Port Washington Road and south of Dean Road. There are now seventeen municipalities within Milwaukee County that are confirmed positive with this invasive pest which has also spread to and affected 30 states destroying tens of millions of ash trees.
Quarantines in Wisconsin
All Wisconsin counties and some tribal lands are now under quarantine for emerald ash borers.
Residents and affected businesses may move hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock or ash logs or timber within Wisconsin, except for non-quarantined tribal areas. For out-of-state movement, they need to check with USDA-APHIS.
However, moving firewood is still a bad idea. It may carry pests and diseases other than EAB, including gypsy moth, oak wilt, or even pests that have not yet been discovered.
DNR restricts firewood movement onto DNR managed properties in Wisconsin. The wood must have been purchased within 10 miles of the DNR land, or be certified by the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The US Forest Service requires that firewood be purchased within 25 miles of national forests, or be certified by the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The Village's 2018 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Treatment Program will be starting in mid-June. Approximately 430 public ash trees (trees located directly behind roadside ditches in most areas) are planned to be treated in 2018. Trees that are part of the EAB treatment program are marked with double fluorescent green dots at the base of the tree, on the street side. The two dots signify that the tree is being treated with a trunk injected product named emamectin benzoate. Two horizontal dots indicate the treatment is performed in odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, 2019 etc.) and two vertical dots indicate treatment in even-numbered years (2016, 2018, 2020 etc.). This trunk injection treatment is effective for two years. Licensed Pesticide Applicators contracted by the Village are required to post warning signs at the pesticide application site. The signs must remain in place until sunset the day following the application. Residents are encouraged to remove and dispose of the signs after this time.
During the fall/winter of 2018/2019, the Village will continue with the program of removing additional lower condition ash trees. A certified tree contractor hired by the Village will remove larger diameter trees; Village staff will remove the remainder. Replanting with diverse species occurs during the following spring’s planting season for those ash that are being removed. Replacement trees are planted where an appropriate replanting site exists. The Village plans to continue the replanting program as additional public ash are removed.
In southeastern Wisconsin (EAB) was first discovered on August 1, 2008 in Newburg, a small community in Ozaukee County located approximately 25 miles to the north-northwest of the Village of Fox Point. In August 2009, EAB was discovered in Milwaukee County in the City of Franklin. Emerald Ash borer (EAB) continues to spread throughout Milwaukee County and southeastern Wisconsin. In 2011, the Village Board approved an EAB Initiative to put in place a management strategy to best manage the Village’s public ash population through the EAB infestation period.
A Real Threat
EAB is not a threat to human health but it does threaten our forest and urban tree populations. EAB is 100 percent fatal to our native ash trees of any size, any age, healthy or unhealthy, (according to research by Michigan State University and the US Forest Service).
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) have resources on their websites that discuss proactive ways in which residents can try to limit the impact and slow the spread of EAB. We encourage Village residents to visit the links listed below to educate themselves about the ramifications of EAB. The Village of Fox Point has been following the guidance provided by these departments and has engaged various management options to combat the beetle.
“When should I start treatment if I want to protect an ash tree on my property?” Unfortunately, there are differing opinions to this question and the facts are not fully conclusive. There is still much to be learned. One consistent fact to keep in mind, wherever new finds of EAB have been detected; the insect has already been there for 3 to 6 years. This is important information to consider as you make your decision about treatment. Not all ash trees should be treated; it is a personal decision. Healthy, high value, important trees are possible candidates for treatment: specimen trees, ones shading a home or patio, etc.
In many situations, planting a new tree may be better than trying to save an ash in average condition. If you choose this option, be sure to plant a species of tree that you do not already have on your property. This will help head off future invasive problems and increase the tree species diversity in the Village.
Currently, the Village is not offering assistance for ash trees on private property. Residents concerned about managing ash trees on their property are encouraged to contact an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist. A listing of certified arborists “for hire” is located on the Wisconsin Arborist Association website http://www.waa-isa.org/arborist-for-hire/
We also recommend that Village residents use only firewood from their property or firewood purchased from a reputable local dealer. Infested firewood is the primary transportation means for the beetle.