CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The campaign to bring down vulnerable ash trees in Cedar Rapids got a little more intense this winter.
City crews remove a possibly infected ash tree from Elaine Dr. N.W. in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Since February, the city has started removing ash trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer. (Dave Franzman/KCRG-TV9)
Cedar Rapids forestry crews began cutting down ash trees in danger from the Emerald Ash Borer nine years ago as a precaution. The idea was to remove weakened trees early before the insects arrived.
But with the ash borer now in the city, identified as of last summer, city crews started removing a large number of infected trees in one area back in February.
The infected trees are located in an area near Edgewood Road N.W.
Todd Fagan, a city arborist, said once an infested area was identified the city determined how far the insects can fly. And at least 200 ash trees, within that zone, are now coming down.
“This is our first major infestation that we’ve found. If it follows the pattern it has in other cities, this won’t be the last. They will come fast and furious from this point,” Fagan said.
Fagan says city workers are checking each of the ash trees cut down in the infected zone.
About half are showing signs of actual damage from the Emerald Ash Borer.
Fagan says the city is only removing trees on public property. Private property owners should check with experts to see what options are available for their own ash trees.