Rochester Ash trees at risk - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester Ash trees at risk

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ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC DT) -- A college professor was in town Monday, saying thousands of Rochester trees are in danger of dying. The culprit? A green bug only the size of a nickel.

You described the Emerald Ash Borer, responsible for killing Ash trees all over the country.

It has yet to be identified in Rochester, but has been reported as close as the Twin Cities and 45 miles east of Rochester.

University of Minnesota Urban and Community Forestry professor Gary Johnson spoke to council members Monday about a tree inventory program that's going on right now, in conjunction with the city's Forestry Division.

Of the seven thousand or so Ash trees in town, Johnson says, all of them are at risk. And he wants city leaders to have a plan ready to save Rochester's trees from a disease spread through firewood.

Johnson says, "It doesn't matter if you're big, small, young or old, as long as you're an Ash, you taste good."

Johnson says, he doesn't know how much it might cost to protect the Ash trees until his inventory is complete.

Trees increase property value and help keep winter fuel consumption low. If you have a question about the health of your Ash tree click on this link for Rochester's Forestry Division: http://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/park/forestry/index.asp

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