Government

City to host Emerald Ash Borer workshop

Cedar Rapids Forestry Department worker Jeremy Kuda cuts up a trunk of an ash tree along 51st St. NE in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 28, 2018. Workers with the city were cutting down eight trees from along the roadway of the 20-30 trees on their list as prevention against the spread of the emerald ash borer. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Forestry Department worker Jeremy Kuda cuts up a trunk of an ash tree along 51st St. NE in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 28, 2018. Workers with the city were cutting down eight trees from along the roadway of the 20-30 trees on their list as prevention against the spread of the emerald ash borer. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — With the Emerald Ash Borer beetle considered widespread throughout the community, officials are trying to spread the word on identifying and preventing damage to area trees.

A special workshop will be held July 10 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Time Check Hall in the City Services Center, 500 15th Ave. SW. Speakers will include officials with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Trees Forever, according to a news release.

Topics will include Emerald Ash Borer biology and status in Iowa, the insect’s population cost and treatment and new tree diversity.

The city’s Emerald Ash Borer plan and repurposing of wood removal also will be discussed.

The insect is native to eastern Asia. Its larvae burrow into ash tree bark and block nutrients from flowing to the rest of the tree.

The beetle was first found in Cedar Rapids a few years ago. This summer, confirmed infestations had been identified along Edgewood Road, south of Ellis Boulevard; along Glass Road, east of Edgewood Road; near 27th Avenue, west of I-380; and along 33rd Avenue, west of Sixth Street SW.

The city maintains about 7,000 ash trees — with likely all eventually will be removed, possibly over five to 10 years.

Homeowners wishing to treat trees — treatment is an ongoing process — in the right of way near their homes to slow the infestation process can do so but should first contact the city at 319-286-5747 so the city knows not to remove it.

Since 2010, there have been 61 counties with a confirmed Emerald ash borer presence.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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