CEDAR RAPIDS — The ash-tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Linn County, state officials said Monday.
The tree-killing pest has been identified at an Interstate 380 rest stop on the far south side of Cedar Rapids by officials who spotted a sickly looking ash tree and began an investigation. EAB larvae were found in the tree, along with two other nearby ash trees.
The discovery was not a surprise. Linn County is the state’s 29th county where the EAB has been confirmed. Two years ago, it arrived in Mechanicsville in Cedar County within several miles of Linn County. Cedar Rapids officials have assumed EAB was in Linn County and in the Cedar Rapids metro area and have been waiting for confirmation.
In April, Cedar Rapids’ forestry and parks officials announced a 10-step action plan, which they said they would implement upon the bug’s first confirmed arrival in the county.
The plan calls for city crews to cut down any ash trees within two blocks of a tree identified with EAB. The plan also calls for the city to use chemical treatment to save about 6,000 of an estimated 15,000 ash trees along city streets, at least for a time, as the city cuts down other ash trees and replaces them with trees of different species.
The city of Mount Vernon, also in Linn County, already has begun to treat some of its ash trees.