UPDATE: City confirms Emerald Ash Borer in central Lincoln

UPDATE:

On Tuesday, Lincoln Parks and Recreation announced a tree in central Lincoln was infested with the emerald ash borer.

They said they found out about it last week and that it appears the ash borer has been there for some time.  It’s a sign that the invasive species is on the move in Lincoln because before this, they said they had only seen the bug in the southwest part of town.

“I’m not surprised, frankly, that they announced it,” Zamir Libohova said.  “We have heard that a few years back.  It was just a matter of time.”

Libohova said he cut down his ash tree two years ago.

“It was not in good shape,” he said.  “But we thought that it was probably vulnerable, because of that, to be attacked first by ash borers.  So we just took it down.”

He’s not the only one.

“I just had a tree cut down today just because I was concerned about the ash borer,” Tommy Jones said.  “Wanting to make sure we could try to get it taken care of before it takes over all the trees.”

Not everyone Channel 8 Eyewitness News talked to agreed with that preventative measure.  Some said they’d rather keep their ash trees and that they were going to treat them instead.

Experts say if you do that, it will take more than one treatment and could run you around $200 each time.  But if a tree’s in good health and has decent size, it could be cheaper than having it cut down.

Right now, the city is removing 14,000 public ash trees along streets and parks, a process that will take about 15 years.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation sent out a press release saying, in part: 

Lincoln Parks and Recreation will provide information about a new “Adopt an Ash Tree” program at the City’s Arbor Day Celebration, Saturday, April 27.  The event is from 1 to 3 p.m. at Stransky Park, South 17th Street and Harrison Avenue.  The optional program begins May 1 and allows residents to pay for licensed contractors to treat public ash trees located adjacent to homes and businesses.  Program participants are required to obtain a free permit from Lincoln Parks and Recreation that allows the department to track the treatment process.

For more information about EAB and the Lincoln Forestry Section, visit trees.lincoln.ne.gov.

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City officials have confirmed a tree in central Lincoln is infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. 

City Forestry staff made the discovery last week, but the infestation appeared to be two years old.  Previously, the insect had been only located in southwest Lincoln. 

 “Finding live EAB larvae in an ash tree in the center of Lincoln confirms our suspicion that the EAB has been in Lincoln for a few years,” said Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation Director.

The City Council approved Lincoln’s EAB Response and Recovery Plan last year.  The plan includes the phased removal over 15 years of about 14,000 public ash trees along streets and in parks.  A diverse mix of trees will be planted to replace the public ash trees.  Chemical injection treatment may prolong the life of healthy ash trees, but treatment of public ash trees is not planned during the current two-year budget period.  Details of the plan are available at trees.lincoln.ne.gov.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation will provide information about a new “Adopt an Ash Tree” program at the City’s Arbor Day Celebration, Saturday, April 27.  The event is from 1 to 3 p.m. at Stransky Park, South 17th Street and Harrison Avenue.  The optional program begins May 1 and allows residents to pay for licensed contractors to treat public ash trees located adjacent to homes and businesses.  Program participants are required to obtain a free permit from Lincoln Parks and Recreation that allows the department to track the treatment process.

For more information about EAB and the Lincoln Forestry Section, visit trees.lincoln.ne.gov.

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