Metro members working to prevent spread of ash borer

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The emerald ash borer was discovered near Detroit 16 years ago. Now, more counties in our area are seeing the bug that kills ash trees.

Some area trees are getting preventative treatments to keep the pest away.

"It is a very devastating insect and no tree has natural protection against it," said Jennifer Morris.

Morris works at ABS Tree Care. She said timing is important in the treatment process, and the time to treat is now.

"I do know the Nebraska Forest Service always has said wait until it's within 15 miles of your tree in order to treat, and we've been at that point for a while," said Morris.

There are several options for treatment depending on the size of the tree.

"Here you see an injection system that delivers a two year product that controls emerald ash borer for two years. It gets directly injected into the tree so we know how much product is being delivered up into the canopy," said Morris.

In Iowa, the ash borer has been around since 2010. This month, four more counties were added to the list of places where the insect now lives.

Pottawattamie County is now on that list.

Ash tree owners in the area have a decision to make.

"It's a big decision on whether the tree is healthy enough first of all to sustain long term treatment. So, you want to get it inspected and then make the long term decision on whether it's good for your landscape to keep, and budgetary wise as well," said Morris.

The cost of treatment depends on the size of the tree, from $8 to $10 per inch of diameter of the tree.

Ash borer cannot fly very far. The most common means of spreading is through purchasing firewood.