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May 10, 2018 06:02 PM

How To Treat Ash Trees

It's the news the state had been dreading for years -- the confirmation of emerald ash borer in South Dakota.

This puts million of ash trees in the state at risk of being destroyed by the invasive species.

Ash is unique from other trees due to its opposite branching and compound leaf.
The bark isn't as burly and peely, and can be a darker brown color.

Now that the insect is here, the big question a lot of people are asking, how do you treat it? 

When the news broke yesterday that the Emerald Ash Borer is now here in South Dakota, it surprised a lot of people, but not Jason Bofenkamp, a licensed arborist and owner of Arbor Care.

"No it didn't catch us off guard because we discovered it, we are the ones who discovered it," Bofenkamp said. 

You heard right, Bofenkamp made the startling discovery while pruning trees in north Sioux Falls over the weekend. 

"We found what seemed to be evidence, then the pictures came and I found a larvae which is a large worm which is the smoking gun if you will and I went wow, it's here," Bofenkamp said. 

Now that it is here, people who have ash trees on their property need to make a decision, do they want to save them or let them die. 

Bofenkamp says because the process is a bit complicated it's best to higher a licensed arborist.  

"It is a little bit outside the realm of what a homeowner would do with injecting the product in the right place and the vascular system at the right depth to drill a hole it has to be fairly precise," Bofenkamp said. 

That's going to cost $100 to $300 per tree. There are over the counter products. Bofenkamp says they don't work as well, but it would be better than nothing. 

40-percent of all the trees in Sioux Falls are ash trees, so Bofenkamp says people should prepare themselves for widespread devastation. 

"It could be very serious are there going to be lots of ash trees that people choose not to treat and they just let them die yes but I think the impact is going to be huge," Bofenkamp said. 

Bofenkamp says it's still too early to treat, because the leaves are not in full bloom yet.
But he says if you want to save your ash trees, you better get on a list. 

There are several licensed arborist in the city.  Click here to get the full list on the city's web site. 

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