Emerald Ash Borer Discovered In Ashwaubenon

Ashwaubenon is the newest municipality in Brown County to confirm an infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) following previous discoveries in Green Bay, Howard, DePere and the Towns of Glenmore and Morrison.  The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection designated Brown County as a quarantined County in 2009.

Village Forester Tim Bauknecht made the discovery on January 26. Branch samples were collected from the tree and subsequently suspicious larval galleries were noticed under the bark. Linda Williams, WI-DNR Regional Forest Health Specialist, confirmed the samples as showing positive signs for EAB on February 4.

The Village of Ashwaubenon has been preparing for EAB’s arrival for almost a decade.  The planting of ash, while proven to be a very durable urban tree, was discontinued in Village planting projects in 2005.  A park tree planting plan was created to identify potential new planting sites in the Village’s Parks and greenspaces to ensure future canopy coverage with special consideration given to increasing species diversity. In September of 2015, the Village chemically treated over half of the Village’s 464 inventoried ash trees located in Ashwaubenon’s Parks to provide protection for up to three years from EAB. 

The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees.  Citizens should watch for metallic-green beetles about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress.  Other signs of infestation in ash trees include D-shaped holes in the bark, shoots growing from the base and patches of bark being flecked off by woodpecker activity.  Any Ashwaubenon resident who suspects a tree has been infested with EAB is urged to contact the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at (920) 492-2331. 

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Brown County… Again!!!

In June 2012, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was once again found in Brown County along the Fox River near the KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay.  The site is the same area where a single beetle was found in a detection trap in 2009.  At that time, no further evidence of EAB was detected.  Three years later EAB was again discovered in the same general area and approximately 35 trees were promptly removed and chipped on WPS’s property in downtown Green Bay.  Because of this discovery, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has quarantined Brown County for the transport and movement of wood products.  Currently, 18% of all land in Wisconsin is now located within 15 miles of a documented EAB infestation.

Village Continues Preparations For EAB's Arrival

The Village of Ashwaubenon has been preparing for the arrival of EAB for a number of years. The insect was first identified in the Detroit area in 2002 and has since spread throughout most of the Midwest killing several million Ash trees along the way. While EAB has been found in Brown County in 2009 and 2012, EAB HAS NOT BEEN FOUND IN THE VILLAGE OF ASHWAUBENON.  The insect is very difficult to find until the population explodes, which has led to its proliferation. Communities in Michigan and Illinois were completely overwhelmed by the volume of dead and dying ash trees, often resulting in very hazardous situations.

The insect has the potential to cause a serious problem in Ashwaubenon. There are currently 954 Ash trees on the terraces throughout the Village of Ashwaubenon or 17% of our street tree population. Some of the steps taken by the Village of Ashwaubenon in the initial fight against EAB include:

  • Discontinued the planting of all ash (Fraxinus spp.) tree species in 2005.
  • Began proactively removing and replacing recently planted ash trees. These trees are often times small enough to efficiently remove and replace in one operation with priority given to ash in medians, parks and those planted beneath overhead power lines
  • Developed an Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan in April of 2013.
  • Increased planting in parks that are heavily populated with ash to increase species diversity.
  • Coordinated with various state agencies on trapping and inspection programs.
  • Increased removal of declining ash trees along streets and in parks.
  • Created a Tree Work-Permit Application to allow residents to chemically treat Village owned street trees adjacent to their property.