Chippewa Falls residents may soon have to wave goodbye to their ash trees.

The Chippewa Falls City Council approved a recommendation from the Parks Board on a 6-1 vote to treat 10-12 city ash trees against the invasive emerald ash borer, and potentially remove hundreds more.

According to minutes from the Parks Board meeting on Oct. 10, there are roughly 1,200 ash trees along city streets and in Irvine and Marshall parks that may be threatened by the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that burrows underneath the bark and chewing the tree’s tissue, according to a state information database on the species.

Of the 1,200 possibly infected trees, 651 are able to be saved, Chippewa Falls parks, recreation and forestry director Dick Hebert said at the Parks Board meeting. Hebert suggested two possible methods of treating the problem: drenching, which would cost the city approximately $11,000 every year, and injection, which would cost the city roughly $100,000.

Hebert suggested the city treat 10-12 trees in Marshall and Irvine parks, and let homeowners decide to treat trees in their boulevards at their own expense. If homeowners do not want to pay for the procedure for boulevard trees near their houses, the city will remove those trees and replace them.

Hebert says the issue can’t wait much longer. “It’s going to happen. It’s important for the city to make a decision so we can communicate with the homeowners,” he said at the Tuesday meeting.

An open house on the issue will be held at City Hall, 30 W. Central St., on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m.

Chippewa County is currently under quarantine after signs of emerald ash borers were found in September in the town of Lafayette.

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Chippewa Herald reporter

Sarah Seifert covers the city and community of Chippewa Falls. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-738-1608 or at sarah.seifert@lee.net.

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