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Posted on: March 3, 2022

Local Response to Emerald Ash Borer

top of tree

The presence of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Sioux Center by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Once the EAB infests an ash tree, it can kill the tree within 2-4 years.

“Over a number of years, this insect will impact all ash trees in Sioux Center,” said Sioux Center Park Director Lee Van Meeteren. “Our local nurseries and parks department has been anticipating and preparing for this, and we want to help property owners with ash trees to understand their options.”

Property owners should first identify whether they have ash trees on their property. Ash trees have branches that grow directly across from each other. Ash trees have compound leaves (a group of leaflets joined by a stalk to a woody stem). The compound leaves include 5 or more leaflets. 

Ash tree owners have options:

  • Treat the ash tree – Hire a certified specialist to apply pesticides. Beware of scams. Several local nurseries in Sioux Center are certified to treat for EAB. Treatment must be done annually or every-other-year, depending on the type of insecticide.
  • Remove a failing ash tree – Contact a local nursery or tree service provider to determine health of a tree. If the tree is failing, hire a tree service to cut it down. Ash trees should not be removed June 1-Sept. 1, as EABs are in the adult stage in the summer and tree removal may increase their spread/range.
  • Take no action yet – All ash trees will likely be impacted by EAB and decline and die, but that may take place over a number of years. Contact a local nursery or tree service provider to determine tree’s health.

The IDALS identified several city-owned trees likely damaged by EAB near the football field in Open Space Park. The city is planning to remove these trees. For the remainder of city-owned ash trees, a portion will be treated and others will be replaced over time.

Protect yourself from scams:

If companies offer cures or preventive treatments, thank them for their interest and ask them to leave your property. If someone claims the state has ordered your ash trees to be removed and offers to cut them down for a price, record the person’s name and contact information and report it to the IDALS – State Entomologist Office at (515) 725-1465.

More information on the Emerald Ash Borer

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