Now that we know the emerald ash borer is in Sioux Falls, what can residents do to be proactive in preventing the spread of the insect that has killed tens of millions of trees in 32 states? 

Andre Sushchik with AAA Tree Service is cutting down a maple tree Thursday, but with news of an emerald ash borer investigation, his mind is on ash trees. 

Here’s how you know if you have one in your yard. 

“It’s going to have a lot more closer together kind of vertical ridges. It won’t be as burly and as peely, for example, as a maple right here behind us. That’s going to have more of a lighter grayish tint. Ash tree has more of a darker brown color,” Sushchik said. 

Sushchik says Minnehaha County is flush with ash trees. 

Here’s how you know if an emerald ash borer gets a hold of one.  

“There’s a couple main things to look for. One of the things is you look at the crown and if it’s starting to deaden out and kind of dry out, that’s one sign. At the bark, at the trunk, if you notice “D” shaped holes, small “D” shaped holes, that’s a sign of emerald ash borer,” Sushchik said. 

Brad Adamson knew the insect would arrive eventually. He isn’t worried just yet. 

“Not really, we knew when it was in Minnesota that it would probably end up getting here. Not a matter of if but when,” Adamson said.

Adamson does say if it gets into his part of town, it would be a sad deal. 

“Especially in our neighborhood, there’s so many ash trees. It would be devastating out here,” Adamson said. 

Adamson and Sushchik remember what happened to the trees during the ice storm, this could be worse over time. 

“It could be. It depends on how fast that thing spreads and how proactive people are about treating it,” Sushchik said. 

The arborist says he and other companies are coming up with treatment plans as we speak to try and prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer.