Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Parks Announces Plans to Prepare for, Respond to Emerald Ash Borer

June 08, 2009
Joshua Wescott, 267-8823 or 669-5606
County Executive

Dane County is the first Wisconsin county to develop a comprehensive plan to battle the emerald ash borer. It includes detailed recommendations for homeowners and communities to consider prior to the beetle’s expected arrival in Dane County and options for what to do if and when ash trees in the county become affected. The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle that has decimated ash tree populations in many states surrounding Wisconsin. To date it has been found in southeast and southwest Wisconsin and quarantines have been issued for the two counties affected and four additional surrounding counties. “This thorough plan is a real how-to for homeowners and communities on preparing for and if necessary, dealing with the affects of the emerald ash borer in our county,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said. Within Dane County, the Departments of Natural of Resources and Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection have been aggressively monitoring trees in the area for the emerald ash borer since 2004. Those efforts included the use of nearly 450 traps set up across the county in 2008. According to the Dane County Emerald Ash Borer and Wood Utilization Strategic Management Plan, it’s estimated there are nearly one-million ash trees in woodlands and an additional one-million privately-owned in residential yards in the county. Municipalities are being urged to take inventory of their trees to determine what percentage of them are ash. To date, about a third of the communities have done a tree inventory and determined that over one-in-four municipally owned trees in the county are ash. The plan includes information on what would happen should a number of ash trees in the county need to be removed and how they would be collected, processed, and eventually disposed of. It details what signs homeowners should watch their ash trees for in determining whether the pest is here. While scientists are testing the effectiveness of potential natural predators for the beetle, including other bugs, in the interim people and communities are encouraged to consider insecticide treatment and tree removal alternatives should the area be affected by the emerald ash borer. The complete Dane County’s Emerald Ash Borer and Wood Utilization Strategic Management Plan is available on the county’s webpage at: # # #