Fighting emerald ash borer in Green Bay’s Perkins Park

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A tiny insect continues to cause extensive destruction in ash trees growing across Green Bay. And as Kris Schuller shows us, the city is currently dealing with the invasive species at a westside city park.

At Perkins Park on the city’s westside – the sound of chainsaws and falling timber, as forestry crews take out hundreds of ash trees killed by the tiny emerald ash borer – first found in the city in 2009.

“It’s about 250 ash and mainly we’re taking that many now because the infestation is so bad in the park,” said Assistant Forester Brian Pelot.

For six years the city has been working on this site, targeting ash trees close to the park’s disc golf course. But now Pelot says it’s time to take a more aggressive approach.

“So we’re pretty much taking all of the ash trees out of the park now,” Pelot said.

While the ash trees in Perkins Park are being removed, Pelot says there are plenty of other ash trees that the forestry department has been able to save. With monthly inspections and EAB trapping, the city has stayed ahead by identifying hot zones early and treating healthy ash trees with insecticide when it makes sense.

“We’re getting to the point now where we are reducing the ash population, that we can really hone in on the really good trees and get them on a tight schedule of treatments. And we anticipate to have them around for the long term,” Pelot said.

And Pelot says strong trees survive when infested ones around them are removed; a practice supported by those living nearby.

“If they’re diseased and it’s going to keep spreading, we have to get rid of them,” said Mary Sturzl who lives next to the park.

“I’m very hopeful the forestry department will replant as soon as possible with some trees that hopefully won’t get infected with any bugs,” said Barb Jauquet.

“We will be replanting in the park as well. We’re going to take a look at how the park is being used with the disc golf course, how we can site trees around that,” Pelot said.

The work is expected to last through the month with the wood recycled for paper, pallets and flooring. Because the trees are infested, they can’t be used for firewood.

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