Central Park Ash Tree Removal Taking Place.
Visitors to Central Park this spring might wonder why some of the trees are being removed. Jones County Conservation Park Staff are in the process of removing dead and dying ash trees infected with emerald ash borers. Affected ash trees in high use park areas and along park roads, due to public safety concerns, are being targeted for removal first.
Central Park most likely became infected with the Emerald Ash Borer due to the movement of firewood from outside locations and now joins several other locations within Jones County affected. First documented entering Iowa in 2010 Emerald Ash Borer affected ash trees are confirmed in over 90 of Iowas 99 counties.
Trees affected at Central Park are easy to identify by their "blonding" appearance, as woodpeckers drill into the limbs and trunk to get to the borer grubs under the bark. Where bark is removed s-shaped galleries, created by the emerald ash borer grubs eating their way under the trees bark, can be observed. Canopy die back and suckering from the base of the trunk is also common in trees heavily infested with emerald ash borers.
As highlighted on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website -Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), or EAB as it’s commonly known, is a small, metallic-green, invasive wood-boring beetle native to east Asia that attacks and kills ash trees (fraxinus spp.). Adult beetles live on the outside of trees and feed on the leaves during the summer months, while the larvae feed on the living plant tissue, the phloem and cambium, underneath the bark. The tunneling and feeding activity of the larvae is what ultimately kills trees. EAB attacks ash trees of any size, age, or stage of health, and trees can die within two years of infestation.
New diverse plantings of native tree species will replace ash trees removed at Central Park due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.