Prairie Village in fight against emerald ash borer infestation - KCTV5

Prairie Village in fight against emerald ash borer infestation

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A metro city with thousands of trees will soon chop down hundreds to prevent an emerald ash borer infestation. A metro city with thousands of trees will soon chop down hundreds to prevent an emerald ash borer infestation.
For years, city leaders in Prairie Village studied the impact of the ash borer beetle, and now they're taking action. For years, city leaders in Prairie Village studied the impact of the ash borer beetle, and now they're taking action.
They are going to remove 100 trees this fall, including the large ash trees that line Roe Boulevard near Porter Park. They are going to remove 100 trees this fall, including the large ash trees that line Roe Boulevard near Porter Park.
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -

A metro city with thousands of trees will soon chop down hundreds to prevent an emerald ash borer infestation.

For years, city leaders in Prairie Village studied the impact of the ash borer beetle, and now they're taking action.

They are going to remove 100 trees this fall, including the large ash trees that line Roe Boulevard near Porter Park.

They are starting with trees already in poor condition or ash trees that are 12 inches in diameter or less.

"We have lots of trees. Yes, we are a tree city USA," said Prairie Village Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft.

Shirley Wood lives in Prairie Village and has for more than 50 years. She has grown found of the city's 9,500 trees.

"I love them. The more the better," she said.

However, the problem is that hundreds of those trees owned by the city are ash trees that are in danger due to emerald ash borer beetles infesting metro communities. The trees deteriorate and die.

"Once a tree dies, its branches become brittle and have a tendency to fall," Bredehoeft said.

That is why city leaders plan to remove and replace 700 ash trees that are inside city parks or in the public right away.

"If they have to they have to, but I hate to see it done," Wood said.

Bredehoeft said he knows removing trees in a city with a Tree City USA distinction won't necessarily be popular, but he says it is necessary.

"We are starting with the trees in the worst condition and smaller so the replacement tree will be more similar to it. We are trying to do the best we can to minimize impact to residents," Bredehoeft said.

Some homeowners are already using insecticide treatments on the city ash trees near their homes in hopes of saving them.

For now, city leaders say they will allow that but if the trees become infested and deteriorate they will have to be removed.

If a tree near you is scheduled to be removed, you will receive a letter in the mail. They are going to remove the trees over the next several years in a gradual process.

For more information, the city is holding a public meeting at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd., from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information about the meeting, click here: http://pvkansas.com/index.aspx?page=31&recordid=977

Before June 2002, the emerald ash borer had never been found in North America.

The canopy of infested trees begins to thin above infested portions of the trunk and major branches because the borer destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark.

Heavily infested trees exhibit canopy die-back usually starting at the top of the tree. One-third to one-half of the branches may die in one year. Most of the canopy will be dead within two years of when symptoms are first observed.

Sometimes ash trees push out sprouts from the trunk after the upper portions of the tree dies.

Although difficult to see, the adult beetles leave a "D"-shaped exit hole in the bark, roughly 1/8 inch in diameter, when they emerge in June.

The adult beetle is dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch-long and 1/8 inch wide.

For more information about the emerald ash borer, click here: http://stopthebeetle.info/

To report an infested tree you can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Plant Protection and Weed Control program at 785-862-2180. You may also contact the USDA Emerald Ash Borer Hotline toll-free at 1-866-322-4512.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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