City of Onalaska says emerald ash borer is a concern

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area city is trying to decide how to deal with emerald ash borer.

On Tuesday night, the city of Onalaska held a meeting where the public could give feedback about how to handle the problem.

The city said the Wisconsin DNR confirmed its first case of emerald ash borer in ash trees in the 1700 block of Hickory Street in December 2013.

Emerald ash borer are metallic green insects that are about half an inch long.

Its larvae get under the tree’s bark, disrupting the flow of nutrients and water and typically a tree dies.

The city said about 27% of its trees are ash trees.

“It’s definitely a large amount, and it’s going to cost a fair amount of money to remove them, and hopefully replace them in the future,” said Planning and Zoning Inspector Katie Meyer.

The city is hoping to complete an emerald ash borer management plan this spring.

Then, the city will go to the Common Council who will decide whether the city’s ash trees should be treated, removed or both.

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