Green Bay’s ongoing fight against the emerald ash borer

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) It has been 11 years since the emerald ash borer was found in Green Bay. And for the city it’s an ongoing fight to deal with the destruction the tiny insect causes.

At Badger Park on Green Bay’s west side forestry crews remove dead ash trees, all infested by the emerald ash borer.

“We’d rather be pruning trees than cutting them down. But by removing those infested trees, we are protecting the other trees,” said Brian Pelot for Green Bay’s Forestry division.

For the last week crews have out here cutting down trees.

“It’s about 175 trees,” Pelot said.

A tough decision, but one this homeowners supports. He lives next to the park and feared the dead trees would fall on his roof.

“We’re worried all the time that something would happen, they fall on the garage and take the lines out,” said Jeff Tyndall.

“When we get hotspots like Badger Park we make decisions, is this tree a long-term tree to treat or do we take it down because it’s infested,” Pelot said.

In 2009 the city had over 7,000 ash trees. Now that number stands at 5,400 and every year they have to cut down 400 more.

“Trees don’t last forever, we try to keep them around as long as we can,” Pelot said.

Pelot says the city does that by regular inspections, removal of infested trees and insecticide treatments.

“We have a pretty aggressive treatment program. We treat about 2,500 trees every year during the summer,” he said.

A management plan that has dramatically slowed the loss of ash trees in a region where emerald ash borer has taken root.

“Green Bay has a population, Allouez, De Pere, the metro Green Bay area,” Pelot added.

But in the battle against this wood-boring beetle, some trees, like here at Badger Park, must be removed so healthier trees can be saved .

“You hate to see them go, but that’s just what it is,” said homeowner Dave Micoley.

Pelot says if you have ash trees and you want to save them, have them regularly treated with insecticide.

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