City implements plan to deal with emerald ash borer

Published: Sep. 11, 2016 at 6:55 PM CDT
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The city of Omaha is preparing its plan to manage the emerald ash borer. Time is running out and trees will soon be cut down.

Letters were sent to notify some homeowners that ash trees in the city's right of way are going to be removed.

"There's no more waiting time, we need to do something now," said Shawn McKee.

Shawn is an expert from

who will be handling the city's trees.

The city

in Omaha parks in early June. Now, X's mark trees slated for removal and trees scheduled for treatment are labeled with tags.

Each tree set for treatment will get an injection of specialized chemicals called "Treeage." The chemical treatment is made by Arborjet. Studies show it's 100-percent effective at protecting a tree for two years.

Experts from Holland and McKee have been contracted by the city to treat at least 2,500 trees next spring. Another 2,500 will be treated the year after too.

"You can see in this tree, a lack of canopy," said Bug Holland.

For homeowners the time to act is now before the city's trees become the main priority.

As Bud Holland notes there are already signs that EAB is taking hold.

"In a week we saw some signs in different trees here that's starting to trouble us," said Holland.

The ash borer is no larger than a coin, but when its eggs hatch they essentially strangle a tree's water supply. The whole process moves quickly which is why experts say people with ash trees should treat now before arborists are busy next year. Treatment can only be administered when it's 45 degrees. Since the city will be treating trees the next two years, it's safest for homeowners to get treatment now as contractors will be busy with city trees.

They said even if you don't have an ash tree you can help. It's as simple as buying into guidelines to stop its spread. Experts urge people to not move firewood to different locations.

"We want to save our canopy, you know this beautiful area around here," said McKee.

He said if we don't save it, the trees could disappear and it may be decades until new trees take their place.

Homeowners can petition the city to save their trees if they're planning on treating it. Details on steps homeowners should take can be found