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May 10, 2018 06:09 PM

Minimum $300,000 Price Tag To Treat Ash Trees In Sioux Falls Parks

Sioux Falls

Treatment is one of the options the City of Sioux Falls is considering for the ash trees in all the city parks, but with 2,000 trees to treat, it could be an expensive fix. 

The emerald ash borer isn't going anywhere. 

"Once the insect is here, it's going to be here," Sioux Falls Parks Operations Manager Kelby Mieras said. 

That means Sioux Falls parks will catch the bug-- soon enough. 

"It's about a 10-12 year process before all the ash trees in town will be affected," Mieras said. 

"I hope that things don't change too much," Sioux Falls resident Marcella Heath said. 

Marcella Heath says Mckennan Park wouldn't be Mckennan Park without the towering trees. 

"I'm hopeful that the experts are able to put the preventive on it, and save as many as possible," Heath said. 

Unfortunately for Heath, city crews say treating all the trees isn't easy. 

"From what I'm being told, treatments are between $150 to $300 per tree. We've got more than 2,000 trees in the parks system," Merias said. 

That adds up to at least $300,000. And it's not a permanent solution. 

"Treatments are good for two years. Then it's a continuous thing. To continue to protect the tree, you have to continue to treat," Merias said. 

The city is considering all options, but the fact is, without treatment, every tree will become infected. 

"I know that they will replant, but it takes a long time for trees to grow," Heath said. 

Now that the ash borer is here to stay, so are changes to the way parks across Sioux Falls will look for years to come. 

Removal is the only permanent option, but the parks operation manager says they're hoping to remove the trees selectively and over time, to preserve the look of the parks as much as possible. 

© 2018 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.


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