The City of Cedar Rapids has announced the Emerald Ash Borer has been positively identified within the city limits. The exotic beetle was found at the I-380 rest stop south of Cedar Rapids, which is within the city limits. The city and IDOT will coordinate on the removal of the trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer embeds larvae which destroys the inner bark of ash trees. Cedar Rapids has approximately 10,000 public ash trees and its the most abundant native tree species in all of North America. The Emerald Ash Borer first arrived in the United States 13 years ago and Cedar Rapids has been preparing for a possible infestation ever since. Approximately 1500 ash trees have already been removed by the city, including one in my yard two years ago. Cedar Rapids quit planting ash trees a decade ago, instead going with a great diversity of tree species. The City is also treating well over 1,000 trees, with chemicals, on an annual basis in an effort to save or at least prolong their life.

Cedar Rapids residents are responsible for ash trees on their personal property. We removed one many years ago, that was showing signs of decline. You can treat trees, but is NOT a one-time thing and doesn't guarantee your tree will survive. Options for your tree(s), if you live in Cedar Rapids, can be found here.

I'm thankful the city has been proactive because it was only a matter of time. Personally, there's not much any of us can do to help prevent the inevitable. However, using only firewood purchased locally is one thing that's been suggested for years. That's a simple thing we can all do to hopefully slow the Borer's spread.

[via City of Cedar Rapids]