SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The buzz of chainsaws echoes through Sioux Falls neighborhoods this winter as crews try to keep ahead of the emerald ash borer. Tree service companies have been busy cutting down ash trees to prevent the spread of the troublesome bug.

Carving through ash trees in the biting cold.

“It slows the hydraulics down a bit, but not too bad,” Cody Pomerenke of Midwest Tree Service said.

The tall timber takes a tumble in this southwest Sioux Falls neighborhood.

“Usually, we can just flop them right down onto the street and then we chunk them up,” Pomerenke said

Tree trimmers are taking advantage of this seasonal window of opportunity to remove hundreds of ash trees in the city. The emerald ash borer is dormant at this time of year, so there’s no risk of them moving from tree to tree once their winter home is cut down.

“It will spread on its own, we don’t want to give it any help,” City of Sioux Falls Park Operation Manager Kelby Mieras said.

The spread of the emerald ash borer is being described as “very slow.” City officials credit that to prompt tree removal and homeowners treating their ash trees. The mild winter has helped, too.

“While today’s not stellar weather to be removing trees, it’s a whole lot better to work in and the crews and the contractors are making great progress,” Mieras said.

Tree trimmers have until Memorial Day to finish their work for the year. After that, the ash borers become active again and the chainsaws will be idled through the summer.

The City’s goal is removing 2,100 trees before summer. Right now, they’re nearly a third of the way there, with some 600 trees cut down.