LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The emerald ash borer has already been found in La Crescent, Winona and Barre Mills.
Tuesday, experts hosted a workshop to better educate the community about the beetle and how to prevent it from killing off ash trees – which make up roughly 40 percent of La Crosse's ash tree population.
The borer burrows into the trees under the bark and chews through the vascular tissue that allows the trees to transport nutrients along the inside.
Dolores Marusarz has one ash tree in her yard, but she's worried the emerald ash borer will soon be attacking it.
"The problem of the emerald ash borer has just been spreading so fast," Marusarz said. "They've invaded this area."
"Others have estimated we could lose two percent of our total leaf surface because of the loss of ash trees," said Dr. Chris Williamson, of the UW-Madison's entomology department. "So it could be very substantial, and moreover, the cost of removing an infested tree is very high."
Dr. Williamson added chemical treatment can be effective in preventing the borers from entering your tree.
Those chemicals can either be applied at the base, with the hope that they'll be absorbed up through the roots, or they can be injected right into the trunk.
Chemical treatments can also be used to slow the tree's demise up to a point.
"Once you get above 50 percent decline of the tree, it's not worth investing to salvage that tree," Dr. Williamson said.
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