With infestation looming, Iowa’s Ash Trees get the Ax


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s a costly mass tree-icide, but perhaps a necessary one.

City and park managers across Iowa have begun removing thousands of healthy ash trees, preempting a strike from a seemingly unstoppable  brand of tree-eating beetle, the Des Moines Register reports.

The emerald ash borer, which killed tens of millions of trees in Southeastern Michigan and tens of millions more across the midwest and into parts of Canada before it was first spotted last May in Iowa, works by burrowing under a tree’s bark and cutting off its food supply. It can be live in a tree for years without detection.

States highlighted green have been affected by the emerald ash beetle. Credit: http://www.emeraldashborer.info

In all, some 88 million ash trees grow across Iowa. The loss of about 3.1 million urban ash trees in Iowa could cost cities $7.3 billion for removal, replacement and lost landscape value, the Department of Natural Resources told the Register.

Officials hope that preemptive action will help communities to bear the cost and labor gradually while newly-planted, hardier trees grow at a staggered pace.

For more on the the dastardly beetle, see this list of frequently asked questions compiled by the ISU department of entomology.

About these ads

About jmalewitz

Jim Malewitz is a journalism intern at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. Additionally, as a master's journalism student at the University of Iowa, he is conducting research on non-profit journalism while serving as an assistant editor at IowaWatch.org. Malewitz graduated from Grinnell College in 2009, where he majored in political science with a concentration in global development studies. He loves America, the states of Michigan and Iowa and Detroit Tigers baseball. He also an odd fascination with the former German Democratic Republic. He likes the environment too.
This entry was posted in Land, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to With infestation looming, Iowa’s Ash Trees get the Ax

  1. Pingback: Butternut trees are vanishing from Iowa forests | Iowa Environmental Focus

  2. Gingerich Elise Renee says:

    Poor Trees! I Think I Actually Grew Up In Iowa City Iowa, With Some Of These Trees Around! So Sad That The Trees Are Dying. Maybe It’s Time To Hit The Rewind Button In A Good Way! (Yes, Let’s All Hit The Rewind Button, But In A Really Good Way!) Those Trees Are So Pretty! I Think Those Trees Are So Pretty! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s