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Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Hudson

A table from the city of Hudson helps homeowners decide how to manage emerald ash borer on their private trees. The invasive species has been confirmed in the city and the nearby area. Image courtesy of city of Hudson

Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Hudson, the common council heard at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 6.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection notified the city that the invasive species had officially been found in the city in July, first in a fast food parking lot at Crest View Drive and Carmichael Road and then also in the town of Hudson along Fraser Lane.

Urban Forestry Board Chair Ken Holman said the board has been working to prepare the city for emerald ash borer at least eight years.

"If not more," Holman said.

With a variety of grants, the board has done a full inventory of public trees and instituted an emerald ash borer plan recommended by a consultant.

Ash trees, the species susceptible to emerald ash borer, account for about 25 percent of the public tree population. Of those nearly 1,400 ash trees, Holman said about 200 have been removed based on their condition or interference with utility lines.

Ash trees can be treated with a chemical injection that kills the beetles when they feed on the leaves, Holman said. The treatment lasts for three years, and the city has been treating 40 ash trees a year.

The cost is based off diameter-inch, and it costs the city less than $5 a diameter-inch.

Mayor Rich O'Connor asked how long the city will have to continue the treatment. Holman said it would continue until the species is no longer around.

"That may take, and this is just an estimate, 20 to 30 years," Holman said.

Holman said the focus is on managing the impact as much as the city possibly can. The city has been working to diversity its tree population, and has seen a big difference with its gravel bed system.

The emerald ash borer is moved primarily by firewood. All Wisconsin counties are now quarantined for the emerald ash borer, and though firewood can be moved between quarantined counties, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection strongly dicourages doing so due to the risk of transporting other pests and diseases. 

Resources to help residents determine if they have an ash tree and if they should keep it are available at the city of Hudson website. Holman said the decision homeowners will have to make is the same decision as the city.

The Urban Forestry Board will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 15 and discuss an emerald ash borer budget.

"This is the time for the city to make that necessary investment in further protecting our ash trees on both public and private property," Holman said.

In other business, the council approved the hiring of a new Public Works and Park Director as Tom Zeuli retires. Michael Mroz, the current operations manager for the city of New Richmond, was approved.

This story has been updated to clarify rules on moving firewood. 

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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