Emerald ash borer becomes unwelcome guest in West Allis

Aug. 27, 2013

The highly destructive emerald ash borer now resides in West Allis.

The first confirmed sighting in the city of the ash-tree killing beetles was within the Wisconsin State Fair grounds off 84th Street and Greenfield Avenue. Two ash trees were found to be heavily infested in the DNR section.

The Department of Natural Resources confirmed the local presence of the emerald ash borer last week. A full inspection of the DNR park will take place next week and a decision will be made as to the fate of the ash trees.

The emerald ash borer has killed millions of trees in other states on a par with the Dutch elm disease of the 1960s and 1970s that wiped out nearly all American elms.

Ash trees can be treated for the emerald ash borer, but treatment is expensive and not effective for trees where the borer is far down the trunk as is the case with the two trees that were found to be infected, said Kim Sebastian, regional urban forestry coordinator.

So far, the emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Greenfield, Franklin, Greendale, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, Cuday, Brown Deer and Milwaukee in Milwaukee County and in Oconomowoc and Mukwonago in Waukesha County.

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