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May 18, 2018 06:07 PM

Slowing The Spread Of Emerald Ash Borer

Thousands of ash trees in Sioux Falls are on death row waiting to die.   That's how a tree expert, who has worked first hand in other Midwest cities with the emerald ash borer, describes the infestation. 

He says there's no way to stop it, but you can slow it down. 
The emerald ash borer is 100 percent lethal that kills all ash trees if left untreated. 

The owner of a company that manufactures products to protect trees from all kinds of invasive insects, including the emerald ash borer, says he has seen the devastation first hand in Chicago. 

"The metropolitan area had roughly 1.5 million ash trees in landscaped areas and now you'd be hard pressed to find a single one living 12 years now after they found the initial find," Jeff Palmer of Arborjet said. 

Palmer says Sioux Falls can expect to see the same thing.  That's why he's urging people if they want to save their trees, now is the time to act. 

As we've heard time and again, don't prune the trees or cut them down at this time, you'll only make the infestation worse. 

"The adults will be flying outside of the trees to infect other trees within the next couple of weeks so you don't want to move or transport any ash material during that period,"  Palmer said. 

Palmer thinks Sioux Falls and South Dakota are prepared to slow the spread but...

"But there's no way to eliminate this pest, so the pest will be found in other areas throughout the city possibly throughout the state, so they are going to start seeing some trees dying, but I can't tell you if it'll be this year or next year, but new finds will be found, and just like in Chicago every ash tree will be affected, so now during the infestation, now is the time to manage it," Palmer said. 

For more advice on how to protect your ash trees as well as how to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer, make sure to catch Inside KELOLAND Sunday after the late local news as we talk with the experts about the infestation.

And if you missed our Emerald Ash Borer special Thursday, you can watch it here.

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