Public Safety

Emerald ash borer found in 65th Iowa county

Cedar Rapids Forestry Department workers work to remove and 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 workers work to remove and 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)

The destructive emerald ash borer has been discovered in Grundy County, bringing the number of Iowa counties in which the invasive insect has been verified to 65.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, samples were collected from a city-owned ash tree in Dike — a city west of Waterloo — after a state employee noticed trees in the area showed signs of duress. The sample was confirmed to be an emerald ash borer.

Larvae of the beetle bore beneath the bark of the tree. As they grow, they cut off the flow of nutrients to the tree, eventually killing it.

Over the summer, the city of Cedar Rapids stepped up its removal of ash trees from city right of way after finding the exotic beetle was “widespread” in the community.

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