Bloomington Advises Residents To Fight Emerald Ash Borer

Bloomington officials say residents must take measures to protect their trees against the invasive beetle before it is too late.

The City of Bloomington Wednesday began a series of three talks aimed at preparing owners of ash trees to fight the invasive emerald ash borer.

As he injected a chemical into the roots of an ash tree in Bloomington’s Bryan Park, arborist Kerry Bridges said the argument for protecting the tree is an economic one.

“You’re going to spend money. You’re not going to get out of this for free,” he says. “If you let the EAB kill your tree and it starts falling on your house, then you’re going to spend money repairing your house. If you just go ahead and proactively remove the tree, you’re going to spend money removing the tree. If the tree is valuable to you and you treat it, then you’re going to spend money treating it.”

Bloomington has several hundred ash trees, which account for about 6 percent of its total canopy, and the ash borer has already devastated the foliage in the Peppergrass neighborhood on Bloomington’s near south side.

The city’s urban forester Lee Huss says the demonstrations were scheduled to try to protect the remaining trees.

“The beetle should be emerging here very shortly,” he says. “It’ll be flying and feeding up into the leaves of trees. That’s why the timing of the insecticide at this time is important.”

About half a dozen residents attended Wednesday’s seminar, but none said they had seen the EAB on their ash trees. But both Bridges and Huss say by the time landowners see the beetle it is already too late.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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