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Ash Tree Removal Begins

You may have noticed crews trimming trees in downtown Sioux Falls Tuesday.

It's work that normally happens in July, but crews had to wait this year, after emerald ash borer was found in the city in May.

So what happens to all the city's ash trees as we enter the fall season?

Tuesday city crews were hard at work trimming ash trees in Heritage park. If a tree is dead or damaged, it might even be cut down.

"We waited till after Labor Day to do this activity, so that's what we're down here doing, some of that work. We had a few standing dead ash trees that were taken down now that we didn't do in the summer time." Sioux Falls City Forester Duane Stall said. 

Stall says the dead trees downtown didn't have ash borers, and likely died due to road salt. But the city work is a good reminder. If you're planning to trim or cut down any ash trees in your yard, now is the time to do it, but you still need to dispose of the wood properly.

"We're asking that ash wood be taken to either of the two Mueller Pallet sites or the city landfill. Our intention is that all the wood is going to be ground up and disposed of before we get to next memorial day," said Stall.

The most important thing to remember is that ash borer larva could already be inside the wood you cut, so the sooner it burns or you dispose of it, the better.

"That's how this insect has spread to 33 states in the U.S. is firewood mainly," Stall said.

 And one final reminder, the quarantine area for moving ash wood is still in effect. 

Stall says the ash borer does not appear to have spread out of the northern part of the city where it was first found.

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