Rochester May Change EAB Battle Plan
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - There may be a change in Rochester's ongoing battle against the emerald ash borer, the insect that is killing millions of ash trees around the country.
The City Council was briefed Monday on the current plan and was told the cost is rising with no end in sight.
City Forester Jeff Haberman told the council despite efforts to fight the bug and save the trees, hundreds continue to die and the number on public property throughout the city is down to 6900.
After the emerald ash borer was first discovered in Rochester in 2015 the city adopted a 20-year plan that had a goal of treating 3000 trees at a cost of $5.5 million. Haberman told the council the allocated funds have not been adequate to fund the plan.
He says options to deal with the shortfall include protecting more trees, stop replacing lost trees and stop inspections on private property. That suggestion was favored by some council members and Haberman was directed to develop a recommendation. This could mean property owners will be on their own to determine if a tree is infected.
The city’s tree ordinance requires an infected tree to be treated or removed within a designated amount of time.
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