SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If you live within the emergency plant pest quarantine zone of Minnehaha County, as well as parts of Turner and Lincoln Counties, you have one week to move any raw ash wood from your property.
Once the calendar page turns to May 31, you will no longer be able to move the wood until Labor Day. This is due to the summertime ban on the movement of ash wood within the quarantine zone to stem the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) an invasive beetle that spells death for ash trees.
According to City of Sioux Falls Park Operations Manager Kelby Mieras, raw ash means ash wood that has not been treated via some sort of milling process. In essence, any part of the tree, whether it is the trunk or limbs, is likely to be included in the ban.
Exemptions to the ban can be made for storm damage clean-up and powerline trimming, but Mieras says in most cases, you will not be allowed to move the wood from your property between May and September. If you have limbs or a tree you would like to remove within this time range, you can call Parks and Rec. to find out what options may be available to you.
The reason that movement is banned between Memorial and Labor Day is that this is the time when the beetles become active, meaning that transportation of infected wood may result in the accidental spread of the insect.
If you have a branch or two fall during the summer, you can store it until the fall, or you can put it to use. If you have a fire pit on your property, Mieras says it’s perfectly fine to burn your ash as firewood, as long as you don’t move it off property.
Mieras also recommends against trimming your ash between Memorial Day and Labor Day, as open cuts in the ash can attract the EAB.
If you plan to move your ash before Memorial Day, you can take the wood to the city landfill, or to the storm damage disposal site at 12th and Lyon.