City of Rochester begins Emerald Ash Borer inspections next week - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

City of Rochester begins Emerald Ash Borer inspections next week

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

Starting next week, the city of Rochester will begin inspections for Emerald Ash Borer on ash trees.

This will include trees on both public and private property. Trained City staff will enter private property to inspect ash trees that may be infested.

According to Rochester Parks and Recreation, EAB was discovered in the Rochester area in August 2014.

Emerald Ash Borer is a metallic green insect that attacks and kills ash trees, unless the trees are treated with a chemical called TREE-age.

"EAB will kill every ash tree that's not treated, and so treatments are performed by injecting the chemical into the tree. So it's a very safe way to administer the chemical without exposing other non-target organisms to the chemical," said City Forester Jeff Haberman. "And that chemical is called TREE-age. And so if people are interested in treating their trees I recommend they call a licensed contractor here in town."

The Parks Department's Forestry Division is responsible for the management and control of EAB. Haberman said they provide a list of contractors on their website where people can contact them and get a cost estimate.

Last year, 458 ash trees were removed.

Haberman said they do inspections in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees, so they can see the evidence they need to confirm they're infested.

Staff will be working a combined 3,000 hours to tackle the issue.

Homeowners will get a letter notifying them if a tree on their property needs to be removed. Ash trees that do have EAB will be marked for removal.

Minnesota has an estimated one billion ash trees, more than ant other state in the US.

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