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May 27, 2018 10:01 PM

How Cemeteries Are Dealing With The Emerald Ash Borer

Sioux Falls, SD

Memorial Day weekend leaves many people heading to the cemetery to visit loved ones. Cemeteries are often filled with many trees, including Ash trees. 

Over 80 acres at Hills of Rest Cemetery are filled with a variety of trees. While Manager of Hills of Rest Phil Schmitz says they have 15 different varieties of trees, there are still several Ash trees.

"Between 40 and 50 Ash trees left in the cemetery, I've taken out 200 in the last 17 years, and I've put back 250 trees," Schmitz said.

Out of those Ash trees, some are old and some are fairly young.

"I've got a landscaping company coming out to look and see, the younger ones I will save, the older ones I will not save because the treatment doesn't seem to work on the larger trees, and these trees are old so who know how much longer they'd be around," Schmitz said.

Mount Pleasant is another cemetery in town working to remove its Ash trees. Currently there are over 150 Ash trees in the cemetery.

"We knew this was coming 7 or 8 years ago, so we started taking them out at that time, we weren't going to wait and get caught, because we probably had 500 in here at that time, I think we've taken a little over 300 out over the course of those years," director Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Randy Pudwill said.

Taking out those trees have allowed for more species of trees to be planted at Mount Pleasant.

"We started to create an arboretum a number of years ago, so we have including the native species that were already here, over 30 species on the grounds now," Pudwill said.

If you're interested in learning more about the Emerald Ash Borer infestation, we've provided a link to our page here.


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  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Sioux Falls, SD
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